Teredo navalis is primarily xylophagous, feeding directly on wood. Some authors suggest a limited degree of filter feeder on water column plankton as well, although Mann and Gallager (1985) report experimental results indicating non-significant growth enhancement in T. navalis when phytoplankton was provided in addition to wood.Genus Teredo is unique even among wood-boring bivalves in its ability to feed solely on wood (Gallager et al. 1981). It does so with the aid of symbiotic cellulolytic, nitrogen-fixing bacteria contained in specialised epithelial cells on the gills (Popham and Dikson 1973, Distel et al. 2002). T. navalis uses its sculpted shell to rasp wood particles that are moved via cilia to the mouth for ingestion. Water is obtained through the incurrent siphons and is used for feeding as well as respiration and excretion/egestion (Did?iulis 2007).
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