Teredo navalis is the most common species of shipworm, a family of bivalves whose shell consists solely of a helmet-like structure around the anterior end of the body, and which is used to bore into wood. Teredo navalis filter-feeds on passing diatoms but it can survive feeding on the surrounding wood if needed. Although it only lives for a couple of years, its ability to breed multiple times in a summer allows it to maintain large populations with far reaching distributions in the coastal waters of the Atlantic and Pacific. Their ability to compromise the wooden hulls of ships has made them a pest to humans for millenia.
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