(NEXTAR) – A huge underground worm bunker has been discovered in Taiwan.
The 20 million-year-old burrow was recently discovered by scientists who published their findings Thursday in the journal Scientific Reports.
The so-called “Bobbit worm” – named after the John and Lorena Bobbit case, in which her then-husband’s penis was cut with a kitchen knife – can grow to 3 meters, or about 9 feet,.
The giant worm had terrifying feeding habits. According to the article, they “hide in their burrows until they burst upwards and hold uncomfortable prey with a powerful jaw” before they drag their prey to the ground.
Ludvig Löwemark, a sediment scientist at National Taiwan University and co-author of the study, said Wired It is believed that the newly discovered fossil “shows how invertebrates such as worms feed on vertebrates.”
“What we usually find in the sedimentary record are the animals that move through the sediments.” But this is a record of a much more active behavior. The worms were actually hiding in the sediments, jumping out, catching their prey, and then pulling that prey down into the sediments. “
This particular fossil shows that the worm was only 2 meters long. Scientists believe it feeds on fish, bivalves – a class of freshwater mollusks – and other segmented worms.
Researchers described 319 burrows preserved in sandstone in Yehliu Geopark, an area outside of New Taipei City, indicating that the Bobbit worm may have been circulating 20 million years ago.
“After 20 million years, it is not possible to say whether this was done by the ancestors of the Bobbit worm or another predatory worm that worked roughly the same way,” said Leimark. guardian From a petrified worm burrow. “There is a lot of variation in the behavior of the Bobbit, but this looks very similar to the shallow water worms stretching it and catching the fish and pulling it down.”
He said, “They are wonderful animals.” “You don’t necessarily want to dive in too soon if you find one.”