Thursday 16 April 2015

Zombie worms and marine cryptids

Zombie worms ate plesiosaur bones
A type of deep-sea worm that eats whale bones has existed for 100 million years and may have chewed up chunks of the fossil record, a study suggests.Researchers found bore-holes indicative of Osedax worms in the fossilised flipper of a plesiosaur, and the rib and shell of an ancient sea turtle.This implies that these scavengers, also known as zombie worms, may have influenced which fossils remain today.The research appears in the Royal Society's journal Biology Letters.
"Our discovery shows that these bone-eating worms did not co-evolve with whales, but that they also devoured the skeletons of large marine reptiles that dominated oceans in the age of the dinosaurs," said the study's co-author Dr Nicholas Higgs, a researcher at Plymouth University's Marine Institute. "Osedax, therefore, prevented many skeletons from becoming fossilised, which might hamper our knowledge of these extinct leviathans."

Interesting, could this be why no remains have been found of some marine cryptids?

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