One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A small marine fan worm which lives in a twisted shell-like tube, typically in colonies, with retractable tentacles for filter-feeding.
Family Serpulidae, class Polychaeta
- ‘In addition, from a uniformitarian viewpoint, it seems more likely that the Figuroa tubes are those of vestimentiferans rather than serpulids.’
- ‘The organism may have extended a filtering organ out of the single opening as a modern serpulid does from its tube.’
- ‘In addition, the tubes of serpulids have distinct lamellae in cross-section.’
- ‘In this regard their mode of life may have been quite similar to fossil and recent species of tubicolous polychaete worms, such as serpulids.’
- ‘These build-ups are made up of bryozoans (mostly robust-branching and minor laminar forms), bivalves and coralline algae, accompanied by echinoids, brachiopods, barnacles, ahermatypic corals, serpulids and vermetids.’
Late 19th century: from modern Latin Serpulidae (plural), from late Latin serpula ‘small serpent’, from Latin serpere ‘to creep’.
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