horsehair

horsehair worm

or hairworm or gordian worm

Any of about 250–300 species (class Nematomorpha, or Gordiacea; phylum Aschelminthes) of long, thin worms. The young are parasites in arthropods; the adults are free-living in the sea or in freshwater. The hairlike body sometimes grows to a length of about 39 in. (1 m).

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Horsehair refers to hair taken from the mane or tail of horses. It has various uses including brushes and the bows of musical instruments. The word is also used to refer to haircloth, a hard-wearing fabric made from horsehair. The term can also refer to horsehair plaster, a wallcovering material formerly used in the construction industry and now found only in older buildings; it has been replaced by drywall and other cheaper, more modern materials.

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