tube worm

Any of numerous species of sedentary, solitary or colonial, marine worms that spend their entire life in a tube made from special secretions or from sand grains glued together.

Found worldwide, tube worms range from less than an inch (25 mm) to more than 20 ft (6 m) long. The bottom of the tube is attached to the seafloor; the mouth and tentacles are at the upper, open end. The worm breathes through gills, the tentacles, or the body wall. The tentacles, variously arranged, are used to filter-feed aquatic plants and animals. Tube worms occur in the annelid class Polychaeta and in the phyla Phoronida and Pogonophora. Many, mostly unnamed, forms live in deep-ocean vent communities.

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      any of a number of tube-dwelling marine worms belonging to the annelid class Polychaeta (see polychaete; feather-duster worm; tentacle worm). Other tube-dwelling worms include the horseshoe worm (q.v.; phylum Phoronida) and the beardworm (q.v.; phylum Pogonophora).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • tube worm — noun Date: circa 1819 a worm that lives in a tube: as a. any of various polychaetes or oligochaetes b. (1) pogonophoran (2) vestimentiferan …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • tube worm — /ˈtjub wɜm/ (say tyoohb werm) noun any polychaete worm which constructs and inhabits a protective tube. Also, tubeworm …   Australian English dictionary

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