Newly discovered fossils in Taiwan show that giant predatory sea worms that lived about 20 million years ago jumped through underground tunnels under the sea and slammed their prey.
These monster worms may be the ancestors of modern Bobbit worms with sunken jaws (Prince Aphrodisiac), they are also hidden in caves under the seabed and can grow up to 10 feet (3 meters) long. According to fossil evidence from Taiwan, the ancient worm’s cave was L-shaped, about 7 feet (2 m) long, and about 0.8 to 1.2 inches (2 to 3 cm) in diameter.
The software of this ancient worm is rarely kept in the fossil record. But scientists have discovered fossil marks left by worms, also known as trace fossils. Some of these marks may have been made while dragging prey into doom. The study found that the researchers collected hundreds of impressions to reconstruct the worm’s tunnel, which is the earliest trace fossil of ambushing a predator.
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Bobbit worms are hairy or bristly worms that have existed since the early days Cambrian Scientists wrote (about 543 million to 490 million years ago) that their hunting habits were quick and “spectacular.”
Researchers examined the traces of 319 fossil tunnels in northeastern Taiwan. From these traces, they reconstructed long and narrow caves, similar to those made by modern Bobbit worms. This study shows that the details preserved in the rocks further hint at how ancient predatory worms might use these nests.
The authors of the study report: “We assume that about 20 million years ago, on the southeastern border of Eurasia, the ancient Bobbit worm was living on the seabed and was waiting for a meal.” The scientist wrote that when the prey approached, the worm was Will “explode” from its cave, “catch the prey and drag it into the sediment. Under the seabed, the desperate prey breaks free and escapes, causing further interference with the sediment around the cave opening.”
As the ancient worms retracted deeper into the tunnel along with their prey in the rash, they struggled to agitate the sediments and formed “unique feather-like collapsed structures” that remained in the trace fossils. The researchers also found iron-rich mines in the disturbed area near the top of the tunnel. These may have appeared after the worm used a layer of slime to reinforce the damaged wall.
Although no fossil remains of worms have been found, scientists have identified a new genus and species, Pennichnus is beautiful; Describe ancient animals based on the unique form of the cave.
The possible behavior that caused the tunnel “recorded the life and death struggle between carnivores and prey, and indirectly retained [a] Paleontological ecosystems are more diverse and powerful than what cannot be explained based on fossil and trace fossil records alone. “
The research results were published online in the journal on January 21 Scientific report.
Originally published in “Life Science”.