Predatory worms with powerful jaws lived on the ocean floor 20 million years ago

Off the coast of Taiwan, paleontologists have discovered traces of giant predatory worms that lived 20 million years ago.

Chinese and European paleontologists led by Ludwig Levemark, a professor at the National Taiwan University in China, have found the home of an ancient relative of Eunice aphroditois, a giant ancient predatory worm.

Experts have reconstructed an L-shaped burrow of an ancient sea worm with a length of 2 m and a diameter of 2-3 cm. To do this, they used almost 320 samples, which were collected from sediments of the Miocene age in northeastern Taiwan.

It is assumed that the creature could look like a Bobbit: worms live in sandy holes, from where they hunt for small fish. Although worms have soft bodies, they have sharp and powerful jaws that can cut prey in half.

Having studied in detail the structure of these passages and reconstructing their three-dimensional shape using computer simulation systems, Professor Levemark and his colleagues came to the conclusion that these holes represent the dens of large bristle worms, similar in anatomy and manner of foraging to Eunice aphroditois.

Next, scientists are going to study in more detail the habitats of worms in order to follow the course of their evolution.

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Alexandr Ivanov earned his Licentiate Engineer in Systems and Computer Engineering from the Free International University of Moldova. Since 2013, Alexandr has been working as a freelance web programmer.
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Alexandr Ivanov

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