Teredo navalis can be distinguished from similar looking creatures in its natural environment (e.g. marine worms) by the bivalve shell around its anterior end. The shell is in the shape of a helmet and is used for burrowing through wood. When compared with other shipworms, which possess a similar shell, Teredo navalis can be distinguished by the fact that the ratio of the length of its posterior siphons relative to the length of the rest of its body is the smallest of all shipworms (Turner 1966).
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