Worm Tubes on Oyster Shells 1 – Calcareous Tubes

Calcareous Worm Tubes on Oyster Shell (1)

Organisms that live on other creatures and inanimate objects are known as epibionts. Epibionts include various kinds of marine worms. Some worms attach to objects like seashells, while the mollusc is still alive and also when the shell is empty, by means of the tube in which they live. These tubes are made of diverse materials such as sand grains, shell fragments, or particles of mud stuck together with mucus or other secretions. Other tubes are manufactured entirely by the worm – such as the calcareous or chalky tubes shown here on an oyster shell (Ostrea edulis Linnaeus). The tube shapes are characteristic for different species of worm. The tubes illustrated here have been made by worms like Pomatoceros spp.

For more information about calcareous tubes on modern and archaeological oyster shells click on:

Calcareous worm tubes on Flat Oyster Shells

Calcareous Worm Tubes on Oyster Shell (2)

Pomatoceros tubes on oyster shell


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About winderjssc

Jessica Winder has a background in ecological studies in both the museum and the research laboratory. She is passionate about the natural world right on our doorsteps. She is enthusiastic about capturing what she sees through photography and wants to open the eyes of everyone to the beauty and fascination of nature. She is author of 'Jessica's Nature Blog' at http://natureinfocus.wordpress.com. Jessica has also extensively researched macroscopic variations in oyster and other edible marine mollusc shells from archaeological excavations as a means of understanding past exploitation of marine shellfish resources. She is an archaeo-malacological consultant through Oysters etc. and is publishing summaries of her shell research work on the WordPress Blog called 'Oysters etc.' at https://oystersetcetera.wordpress.com 'Photographic Salmagundi' at http://photosalmagundi.wordpress.com is a showcase of photographs and digital art on all sorts of subjects - not just natural history.
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