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500-Million-Year-Old Sea Worm Feces Reveal Information About Cambrian Food Web

New research on 500-million-year-old worm feces has revealed information about the food web from the time the feces originated.

The research is described in a paper that was recently published in the journal “Palaios.”

University of Kansas researcher Julien Kimmig led the research, finding burrows created by a long-lost sea worm and subsequently analyzing the burrows.

“These are burrows of a worm-like animal where we have fossilized feces preserved,” said Kimmig, collections manager at the KU Biodiversity Institute and Natural History Museum, in a statement.

“This is rare because feces decompose very easily—it’s not a very stable product from animals. These were preserved because the worms lived in burrows about 4 inches deep. They were hunting out of these burrows. We have something that acted very similar to a modern Bobbitt worm.”

 

Video Credit: GeoBeats