Fossil hunters find nests of giant predatory worms

Paleontologists at the National Taiwan University believe that the 6.5-foot-long bar was once home to a worm-like predator that would lead to sea creatures surrounded by the coast and drag them alive into its nest.

Experts working in northeastern Taiwan reconstructed large, L-shaped burrows 23 million years ago from coastal levels using trace fissures – found in geological features, such as track marks, burrows and plant root cavities, which experts use. Draw conclusions on the behavior of ancient creatures.

Using 319 samples, the experts reconstructed the trace fossil of one Dugout – dubbed punchnus formose – which was .5..5 feet long and about an inch in diameter, and says that morphological evidence suggests that this tunnel was home to giant sea worms like modern-day bobbit worms.

The Bobbit worm, or sand striker (Eunice aphroditois), is an aquatic predatory brittle worm that grows from 4 inches to 10 feet in length and lives in the seabed formed at the bottom of the ocean. Bobbit Worm takes its name from the Lorena and John Wayne Bobbit case, in which Lorena cut off her husband John Wayne’s penis with a kitchen knife.

Living primarily in the Pacific Ocean, bobbit worms hide in long, narrow burrows along the coast and move upward before pulling unsuspecting fish, large mollusks and other worms, keeping them alive, up to their cubes.

In a study published in the Journal of Scientific Reports, the report’s authors noted that the retreat of prey in ancient worms and silt could lead to “feather-like” formations preserved in the Penitentiary Formosi.
Pictured clockwise from top left: the upper part of the penicillin burrow;  A Bobbit worm (photo courtesy Chutinan Mora);  Boro a bobit worm;  The appearance of the plan of the upper part of the penitentiary burrow;  The ical section of the lower part of the penicillin burrow.

They identified a high concentration of iron in the upper part of the burrow, and believed that the worm could secretly secrete saliva to strengthen the burrow wall.

“About 200 million years ago, on the southeastern border of the Eurasian continent, ancient Bobbit worms waited for a coastal colony,” the authors wrote in the report.

“When the prey approached a worm, it jumped out of its burrow, grabbed the prey and dragged it down to the silt. At the bottom of the shore, the desperate prey escaped, causing the silt to further disrupt the opening of the burrow.” They described.