Photo caption: The holotype of Websteroprion armstrongi Photo credit: Luke Parry, (Single use only).

A 400-million year old fossil of an extinct giant worm, up to a meter long with a jaw of one centimeter, has been discovered in the collections at the Royal Ontario Museum, the ROM, in Toronto, Canada. An international team discovered the fossil in the collections and identified the worm: Mats Eriksson from Lund University, Sweden, Luke Parry from University of Bristol´s School of Earth Sciences, and David M. Rudkin from The ROM.

The original find was discovered and collected by  Derek K. Armstrong of Ontario Geological Survey, in a remote area of Ontario, belonging to the Devonian Kwataboahegan Formation.

“Gigantism in animals is an alluring and ecologically important trait, usually associated with advantages and competitive dominance.

“It is, however, a poorly understood phenomenon among marine worms and has never before been demonstrated in a fossil species.

“The new species demonstrates a unique case of polychaete gigantism in the Palaeozoic, some 400 million years ago.” / Mats Eriksson, L.U.

Read the original article from the Eureka Alert here

Or the full paper in Scientific Reports here