Were These The Predecessors of the Sandworms in Dune?

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The worms that burrowed in these tunnels may have been the ancestors of modern Bobbit worms, Eunice aphtoditois, and is the earliest known fossil of an ambush predator (Y-Y. Pan ET AL./Scientific Reports 2021)

Enormous Prehistoric Marine Worms’ Lair Discovered Along Sea Floor

by Elizabeth Gamillo/Smithsonianmag.com

Camouflaged in sandy loam, ancient giant worms waited for unsuspecting prey to swim within their reach and then suddenly emerge from the ground in a snap to pull fish to their demise. Now, 20 million years later, researchers have uncovered these colossal sea predators’ hideaways, according to a study published this month in Scientific Reports. The burrow may be the earliest known fossil of an ambush predator.

The L-shaped lair found imprinted in ancient seafloor sediment from Taiwan measured about 7 feet long and one inch wide, reports Mindy Weisberger for Live Science. The worms that burrowed in these tunnels may have been the ancestors of modern Bobbit worms, Eunice aphtoditoisBobbit worms or bristle worms have been around since the Cambrian period, reports Live Science, and they can be anywhere between a few inches to 10 feet long. The worms also have sharp teeth, hide within the ocean floor, and use their antenna to sense when prey is nearby. When the Bobbit worm feels something above them, it will lunge out of the sand to snatch and gobble up the ill-fated prey.

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Biography
Carol graduated from Riverside White Cross School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio and received her diploma as a registered nurse. She attended Bowling Green State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Literature. She attended the University of Toledo, College of Nursing, and received a Master’s of Nursing Science Degree as an Educator.

She has traveled extensively, is a photographer, and writes on medical issues. Carol has three children RJ, Katherine, and Stephen – one daughter-in-law; Katie – two granddaughters; Isabella Marianna and Zoe Olivia – and one grandson, Alexander Paul. She also shares her life with husband Gordon Duff, many cats, and two rescue pups.

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