horsehair worm

noun

Definition of horsehair worm 

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As Ed Yong at The Atlantic reports, horsehair worms can survive being swallowed by insects and can even escape the digestive tracts of larger animals. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "How Exploding Beetles Can Survive Being Eaten Alive," 21 Feb. 2018 The creatures start out as eggs laid in freshwater, where most species of horsehair worm primarily live. Ben Panko, Smithsonian, "This Jumble of Writhing Sticks Is Actually a Bizarre Parasite," 27 Sep. 2017 According to Hanelt, one of his colleagues found horsehair worms nearly seven feet long in the wild. Ben Panko, Smithsonian, "This Jumble of Writhing Sticks Is Actually a Bizarre Parasite," 27 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'horsehair worm.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of horsehair worm

circa 1753, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of horsehair worm was circa 1753

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More Definitions for horsehair worm

horsehair worm

noun
horse·​hair worm | \-ˌha(ə)r-, -he(ə)r- \

Medical Definition of horsehair worm 

: any worm of the class or phylum Nematomorpha

called also gordiacean, horsehair snake

More from Merriam-Webster on horsehair worm

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about horsehair worm

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