Nati Shohat/FLASH90
Israel

What do Rock-Eating Worms Have to do With the Temple?

Newly-discovered (or rediscovered?) species could explain one of the biggest mysteries surrounding Solomon’s Temple.

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A team of marine biologists from Northeastern University’s Ocean Genome Legacy Center published on June 19 an article describing a newly-discovered freshwater shipworm found in the Abatan River in the Philippines. The worm, known in scientific circles as the Lithoredo abatanica,┬ámeasures about 10 centimeters (4 inches). The remarkable distinction of this shipworm from all others is its ability to feed on carbonate limestone, a kind of soft rock. Other shipworms feed on wood. This makes it the only species of worm capable of burrowing into and ingesting rock. That is quite an amazing discovery, and it immediately brings to mind…

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