20 million years ago, the Sea of Eurasia terrorized a giant two -meter worm

One of the main reasons why paleontologists are still depressingly little about ancient living creatures is the complete decomposition of their soft tissues over time. For creatures with a skeleton or carapace, this is half a badge, but such creatures as worms disappear completely. Therefore, to study the type of Pennichnus Formosae, scientists had to explore their minks, which remained at the bottom of the ancient seas.

319 such objects were studied, before scientists concluded about the belonging of some of them to former dwellings of worms. The main evidence was the abundance of iron in the upper part of the curved tunnel – traces of the vital activity of bacteria. They fed with adhesive mucus, which the worms were allocated to strengthen the sand walls. This is a characteristic feature – some prey so desperately resisted that this led to the destruction of the entrance to the hole. It was constantly necessary to strengthen it, hence the unprecedented concentration of traces of bacteria in the form of iron.

The burrows of ancient worms

Most likely, the Pennichnus Formosae worm was the distant ancestor of the current predatory worm of Eunice Aphroditois (known as the purple Australian worm -. Ed. Technical culture). But he only reached more than 2 m in length, however, in diameter was only 2-3 cm. However, the terrible grasping jaws with bent wisers compensated for the lack of mass – the worm quickly jumped out of the ambush and dragged into the hole everything that sailed past. Scientists suggest that this “hellish worm” had no natural enemies, but he literally colonized the vast regions of the southern seas of Eurasia.

Bobbit wormBobbit worm

Source &#8212 Scientific Reports

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