07 May 2013

How zombie worms eat bones

Spread throughout the world's oceans, zombie worms are quite adept at making the bones of whales and other large marine animals look like Swiss cheese.    

But these worms don't have any mouthparts with which to gnaw the holes. So how do they do it? A study published in the May 1 online edition of the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B found that rather than being "bone-drilling" worms, they're actually "bone-dissolving" worms: The worms’ skin produces acid in large quantities to break down bones.
From Live Science, via Mad as a Marine Biologist. Photo:Martin Tresguerres et al / Proceedings of the Royal Society B.


  1. I recall being told a legend (?) when I was a kid, about how the stones for the Holy Temple in Jerusalem were carved perfectly evenly and straight by using a worm that presumably exuded some sort of acid to cut the stone. I wonder if there's some truth to the legend?

    1. I found this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solomon%27s_shamir but I didn't know it had to be protected in wool and lead!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...