The new species is rarely open, and usually it’s something microscopic, interesting, but not astonishing.
But about a huge worm with a length of at least a meter I can’t say this. This is the longest and the massive representative bivalves in the world.
Unofficially, these mollusks are called ship worms. Their existence was suspected for many hundreds of years, periodically people find their huge shell in the form of tubes, which are sold to tourists and collectors for big money, but the worms themselves are nobody for quite a long time not seen. Some of these tubes with the height exceeded the growth of the average person. And now, twenty years later serious searches, scientists finally examined the living worms of this species.
Scientists were helped by luck, one of the participants in the study stumbled on a story on Philippine television, which focuses on the village with very strange food habits. There eating ship worms, and mollusks among others of similar appearance in the video ate a strange giant worm that crawled out of the mud.
In search of the village and the animal was equipped two expeditions, but only the second one suddenly came across a giant worms, known officially as Kuphus polythalamia. Analysis of living beings and their description is outlined in an article published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
It is not only the longest and most unusual bivalve mollusc, he is also extremely unusual in their eating habits. In fact, they eat dirt. Normal ship worms gnaw his rotten moves in the trees, but Kuphus polythalamia lives in the mud and relies on symbiotic bacteria in their gills. Decompose those contained in the mud hydrogen sulfide, causing on the habitat of the worm is always the smell of rotten eggs, and nourish his master, the resulting organic carbon.
The worm so much relies on bacteria that many of his internal digestive organs or greatly diminished from disuse, or altogether atrophied.
It is interesting that previously, scientists believed Kuphus polythalamia the most primitive of the ship worm, is actually the progenitor of this type, but as it turned out, on the contrary he descended from his wood-eating family. Its anatomical simplicity is actually the result of specialization, not the original form.
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