A gigantic worm with terrifying snapping jaws has been discovered by scientists in Canada. Fortunately, the 400m-year-old creature is long extinct.
An international research team identified the remains of the ‘monster worm’ in fossils stored at the Royal Ontario Museum since the mid-1990s.
The bristle worm is believed to have been more than a metre long and it’s jaw alone reached more than a centimetre in length.
“Gigantism in animals is an alluring and ecologically important trait, usually associated with advantages and competitive dominance,” said lead author Mats Eriksson from Lund University.
“It is, however, a poorly understood phenomenon among marine worms and has never before been demonstrated in a fossil species. The new species demonstrates a unique case of polychaete gigantism in the Palaeozoic, some 400 million years ago.”
The animal’s size is comparable to giant worm species, which were fearsome predators that used their powerful jaws to capture fish, squids and octopuses before dragging them back to their burrows.