August 3, 2009
Fossils Reveal Massive Worms That Lived 475 Million Years Ago
The fossilized tracks of a giant marine worm that lived some 475 million years ago have been discovered byt the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC).
Evidence of the worm, which was up to 3 feet in length, was found in the Cabaneros National Park in central Spain. The region was once a seabed during the Lower Ordovician period, the Spanish researchers said.
The tracks also pre-date those discovered in Devon, England, earlier this year, which were dated from 200 million years ago, the AFP news agency quoted Gutierrez Marcos as saying.
He explained how the worms could grow to such a large size.
"For more than 450 millions years ago our country was part of a marine platform of an ancient continent called Gondwana," he explained.
"The Iberian Peninsula was then near the south pole of the era. Organisms living in very cold water have a metabolism that allows them to grow bigger -- what is known as polar gigantism."