Researchers from Northeastern University (USA) are actively studying the new species and comparing it with other mollusks. Unlike their fellow shipworms, the 5-10 cm-long Lithoredo abatanica has pointed incisors with which it makes holes. .
Such shellfish is found in large stones where the worm makes a network of passageways. Researchers have not yet found out why Lithoredo abatanica feeds on stones, but they suggest that rock particles are perfect for shredding the plankton the creatures eat. Biologists find such a digestive system in birds. Limestone is later removed through a special hole in the animal’s body.
The Lithoredo abatanica is completely indifferent to wood. This is interesting, given that the closest relatives of this species eat cellulose.