Wednesday, April 24, 2024
Contact    |    RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon  
Unexplained Mysteries
You are viewing: Home > News > Palaeontology > News story
Welcome Guest ( Login or Register )  
All ▾
Search Submit

Palaeontology

Prehistoric carnivorous 'terror beast' worm fossils unearthed in Greenland

By T.K. Randall
January 5, 2024 · Comment icon 2 comments
Artistic impression of Timorebestia.
Artist's impression of Timorebestia. Image Credit: Artwork by Bob Nicholls / @BobNichollsArt
Over 500 million years ago, these huge predatory worms prowled the Cambrian seas.
It's difficult to imagine what life was like on our planet hundreds of millions of years before the dinosaurs, but now a new fossil discovery has provided scientists with a unique opportunity to peer back in time to an era before any animals had emerged onto dry land at all.

Discovered in North Greenland, the fossils are those of a species of large carnivorous worm measuring approximately 1ft in length (making it a giant compared to most other creatures of the time).

Named Timorebestia (or 'terror beasts'), these worms would have been the top of the food chain around 518 million years ago. Some of the fossils even had evidence of prey still digesting in their stomachs.

Scientists believe that these predatory worms roamed the world's oceans for up to 15 million years.
"We have previously known that primitive arthropods were the dominant predators during the Cambrian, such as the bizarre-looking anomalocaridids," said study co-author Dr. Jakob Vinther.

"However, Timorebestia is a distant, but close, relative of living arrow worms, or chaetognaths. These are much smaller ocean predators today that feed on tiny zooplankton."

"Our research shows that these ancient ocean ecosystems were fairly complex with a food chain that allowed for several tiers of predators."

"Timorebestia were giants of their day and would have been close to the top of the food chain."

"That makes it equivalent in importance to some of the top carnivores in modern oceans, such as sharks and seals back in the Cambrian period."

Source: University of Bristol | Comments (2)




Other news and articles
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Cho Jinn 4 months ago
Huge Predatory Worm was my nickname in college.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Occupational Hubris 4 months ago
Look, i just want to point out that for at least the last week or so that worms are scary and dangerous, and then this story just happens to come out? ?!!


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


Our new book is out now!
Book cover

The Unexplained Mysteries
Book of Weird News

 AVAILABLE NOW 

Take a walk on the weird side with this compilation of some of the weirdest stories ever to grace the pages of a newspaper.

Click here to learn more

We need your help!
Patreon logo

Support us on Patreon

 BONUS CONTENT 

For less than the cost of a cup of coffee, you can gain access to a wide range of exclusive perks including our popular 'Lost Ghost Stories' series.

Click here to learn more

Recent news and articles