Scientists find tiny prehistoric sea worm dating back to Cambrian age over 500 million years ago

PUBLISHED : Friday, 04 August, 2017, 12:18am
UPDATED : Friday, 04 August, 2017, 12:18am

Long before dinosaurs roamed the Earth, a bizarre creature with a Venus flytrap-like head swam the seas.

Scientists have uncovered fossils of a tiny faceless prehistoric sea worm with 50 spines jutting out of its head. When some unsuspecting critter came too close, its jaw-like spines snap together and dinner was served.

The discovery reported in Thursday’s journal Current Biology offers a glimpse into the Cambrian explosion of life on Earth about 541 million years ago.

Researchers say the fossils represent not only a new species, but a new genus, a larger grouping of life as well.

The marine predator was only 4 inches long and its spines were about one-third of an inch long. It feasted on smaller plankton and shrimp-like creatures.