The abstract was published in National Academy of Sciences 4/17/17 by Daniel Distel et al University of Utah, Northeastern University, University of the Philippines, Sultan Kudarat State University, and Drexil: “Discovery of chemoautotrophic symbiosis in the giant shipworm Kuphus polythalamia (Bivalvia: Teredinidae) extends wooden-steps theory”
The epic shipworm star of the video was shipped from an undisclosed location in the Philippines. This was the first collection of a live specimen. The immense mollusks are submerged vertically and almost entirely beneath a muddy sea bottom. Two ‘tusk like’ siphons sprout above the seabed like a tap root vegetable.
People eat the little ones, Teredo Navalis. These ‘termites of the sea’ wreaked havoc, devouring Dutch dikes in the 1730s, weakening vessels as purported with the Nantucket whaling ship Essex in 1821, and crumbling San Francisco’s harbor infrastructure 1919. They were first reported in Massachusetts in 1839: “in the sheathing of foreign wooden vessels. A century later the species was abundant in samples taken from Nova Scotia to Massachusetts. The species was first collected from Long Island Sound in 1869, again from the timbers of a sailing vessel. Within several decades the species was collected in abundance in test boards from all around New York Harbor (Brown 1953).”
Gloucester’s historic copper marine paint manufacturer, Tarr and Wonson, became the most trusted name in the business of protective paint. The iconic harbor motif still stands. The Paint Factory is now Ocean Alliance.