Gnaw granite, but not science


      Gnaw granite, but not science
      Shipworms are a thunderstorm of wooden ships. They can turn a huge ship into a sieve, write our colleagues from #Esmeralda OK.

Gnaw granite, but not science

Worms – the term is wrong, because we are dealing with bivalve mollusks. True, their sink is not designed to protect against enemies, but to drill holes in wood.

To ward off the worm from the ships, wooden hulls are painted with poisonous paint or impregnated with creosote. However, to find a wooden ship today, you need to really try. The moorings, too, are increasingly made of stone. It turns out that there are worms that are not afraid of a shortage of wooden structures.

In the Philippines, on the limestone banks of the Abatan River, scientists have discovered a new type of worm specializing in stones. The newly discovered mollusk is very different from the usual shipworm.

An ordinary shipworm digests a tree, obtaining from it the organic matter necessary for life. Bacteria help him in this difficult task – shipworms do not produce their own enzymes for cellulose cleavage.

But the Philippine worms have to extract organic matter from the surrounding water (also not without the help of bacteria), because digesting the stone is useless. Why do they bite him? Maybe for a safe living space?

I wonder if they would have liked concrete vessels? Not limestone, of course, but it is not enough … However, it does not matter, concrete ships are even more exotic than wooden ones. Metal and plastic are more promising materials. Perhaps nature is already working on this challenge.

130 Yesterday # 9153

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