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    It's Alive! First Living Giant Sulfur-Powered Shipworm Found in Philippines

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    These scary creatures have been known to science since the 18th century; however, only recently an international team of researchers for the first time managed to find and examine a living specimen.

    Despite their name, shipworms are marine bivalve mollusks that usually munch on wood which has washed into the ocean. The alien-looking recently-discovered organism, Kuphus polythalamia, has been classified as a giant shipworm, although it lives in hydrogen sulphide gas-emitting mud rather than wood. When researchers opened its white tube-like shell, they were surprised by the appearance of the mollusk: unlike other shipworms, it was jet-black and extremely muscular for its life in a shell. Scientists hope to explain how shipworms evolved from a wood-eating organism to one that gets energy from noxious fumes of sulfur.


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