Definition of vestimentiferan in US English:



  • 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

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘One of the most conspicuous groups of animals living in deep-sea chemosynthetic communities at hydrothermal vents are large vestimentiferan tube worms.’
    • ‘This seep assemblage is unusual for an ancient cold-seep site, because it was apparently dominated by one species of vestimentiferan.’
    • ‘The taxonomic status of the vestimentiferans has been the subject of considerable debate recently.’
    • ‘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.’


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