Paleontologists at the National Taiwan University believe that at a depth of 6.5 feet it was once home to a worm-like predator that will emerge from the seabed to plant sea creatures and drag them alive into its lair.
Experts working in northeastern Taiwan have reconstructed large L-shaped holes from 23 million years ago from seabed layers using fossil traces – geological features such as traces of traces, holes and cavities of plant roots found preserved in rocks that experts used to draw conclusions about the behavior of ancient beings.
Using 319 specimens, the experts reconstructed traces of fossils of dugout – called Pennichnus beautiful! –
Living mainly in the Pacific Ocean, beetle worms hide in long, narrow holes in the seabed and move up to catch unsuspecting fish, large mollusks and other worms before pulling them, still alive, back to their dens.
They found a high concentration of iron in the upper part of the hole and believed that the worm could have released mucus to strengthen the wall of the hole.
“We hypothesize that about 20 million years ago, on the southeastern border of the Eurasian continent, ancient bobbit worms colonized the seabed in anticipation of an ambush for transient food,” the report said.
“When the prey approached the worm, it exploded from its burrow, grabbing and dragging the prey down into the sediment. Under the seabed, the desperate prey escaped to escape, leading to further disturbance of the sediment around the hole,” they described.