Research

Geologists have found traces of predatory worms that lived before the advent of dinosaurs

It is estimated that 500 million years ago the depthsoceans were completely uninhabitable. The Mackenzie Mountains in the far north of Canada, on which the plates of the ancient seabed are preserved, prove the opposite - the ancient ecosystem was infested with crustacean creatures and predatory worms. The discovery was quite accidentally made by geologist Brian Pratt of the University of Saskatchewan - he discovered numerous holes in the course of studying samples of sedimentary rocks collected 35 years ago.

Ancient stones were discovered during normalwalks. Noticing the stones turned green, the geologist carefully cut them out and carried them to the laboratory. To change their contrast before studying under the flatbed scanner, he processed the stones. Of course, for millions of years, no remains of worms survived, but after processing photos in a graphical editor, the researcher noticed many holes made by worms of different sizes.

It turned out that the size of some types of prehistoricthe worms were no more than a few millimeters, and the size of others reached the length of a human finger with a diameter of 1.5 centimeters. Large worms, most likely, were predators, who skillfully hid in the ground, exposing the jaws outside and attacked the crustacean victims from an ambush.

Petrified burrows were formed in the Cambrianperiod, about 270 million years before the advent of dinosaurs. Geologists believe that they are well preserved due to the small amount of oxygen at the bottom of the ancient ocean - if there were more, the tissues would have disintegrated much faster. Also, the conservation contributed to the small number of living organisms that eat organic.

Geologists intend to start collaborating with other researchers, and explore younger breeds. Perhaps other, even more surprising discoveries will follow.

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