Definition of vestimentiferan in US English:

vestimentiferan

noun

Zoology
  • A very large marine worm which lives in upright tubes near hydrothermal vents, subsisting on the products of chemoautotrophic bacteria.

    Order Vestimentifera, phylum Pogonophora; sometimes regarded as a separate phylum

    • ‘The Figueroa vent assemblage is dominated numerically by vestimentiferan tube worms, as are all the other known fossil vent assemblages where ‘tube worm’ fossils can be confidently identified as vestimentiferans.’
    • ‘This seep assemblage is unusual for an ancient cold-seep site, because it was apparently dominated by one species of vestimentiferan.’
    • ‘One of the most conspicuous groups of animals living in deep-sea chemosynthetic communities at hydrothermal vents are large vestimentiferan tube worms.’
    • ‘The taxonomic status of the vestimentiferans has been the subject of considerable debate recently.’
    • ‘Both Black et al. and Halanych et al. calibrated the divergence of these genes using a mammal molecular clock and suggested that the modern vestimentiferans originated less than 100 million years ago.’

Origin

1980s: from modern Latin Vestimentifera (from Latin vestimentum ‘clothing’ + -fer ‘bearing’) + -an.

Pronunciation

vestimentiferan

/ˌvestəˌmenˈtifərən/