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date: 18 May 2024


The Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea
M. V. AngelM. V. Angel

a bivalve mollusc, of the family Teredinidae, also known as a shipworm because of the damage they cause to any wood in the sea. They bore long cylindrical holes in the wood, digesting the wood they carve out. They have digestive enzymes that are able to break down cellulose; most other woodborers rely on symbiotic micro-organisms to break it down. The tunnel connects to the outside water via a tiny hole through which the teredo obtains the oxygen it needs. A fully grown teredo can be nearly a metre in length, and carve a hole 2.5 cm (1 in.) in diameter. They occur at all depths in all seas, but are most common in warmer seas. During the 18th century wooden-hulled vessels were clad with ... ...

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