People, Environment

Fossil of Giant Worm Found in Canadian Museum

Fossil of Giant Worm Found in Canadian MuseumFossil of Giant Worm Found in Canadian Museum

A previously undiscovered species of an extinct primordial giant worm with terrifying snapping jaws has been identified by an international team of scientists. Researchers from the University of Bristol, Lund University in Sweden and the Royal Ontario Museum studied an ancient fossil, which has been stored at the museum since the mid-1990s, and discovered the remains of a giant extinct bristle worm (the marine relatives of earthworms and leeches), Science Daily reported. The new species is unique among fossil worms and possessed the largest jaws ever recorded in this type of creature, reaching over 1 centimeter in length and easily visible to the naked eye. Typically, such fossil jaws are only a few millimeters in size and need to be studied using microscopes. Despite being known only from the jaws, a comparison with living species suggests that this animal achieved a body length of over a meter. “The new species demonstrates a unique case of bristle worm gigantism in the Palaeozoic Era, some 400 million years ago,” lead author Mats Eriksson from Lund University said. The findings are published in Scientific Reports.


Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints