Living Giant Shipworm, the Giant ‘Unicorn of Mollusks,’ Discovered

April 18, 2017 10:46 am

After hundreds of years, scientists have at last discovered a living specimen of the giant “unicorn of mollusks.”

The Kuphus polythalami became known to sailors as the “giant shipworm” because it ate its way into the side of wooden boats. Efforts to find a living one failed because no one knew where the animals actually lived. Now they have been discovered in the Philippines, living in the muck of a marine bay in Mindanao.

And yes, they do live up to the monicker “giant”—a full-grown shipworm measures up to three feet long.

Learn more about this mollusk unicorn in the Washington Post. 

See more of the giant shipworm in the video below.



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