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more on bone-eating snotworms - the fossil years

A while back I wrote about some fascinating little deep-sea creatures - the 'bone-eating snot-worms' (Osedax sp.) that colonise the corpses of dead whales falling to the ocean floor. Now Brian Switek, over on Laelaps, has reviewed a paper suggesting that this bone-boring habit has been around for millions of years. The evidence is in the form of trace fossils: vertical tunnels bored in the skull of a 3-5 million-year-old whale. Fascinating stuff, & it helps broaden our understanding of the ecology of the Pliocene seas. Well worth a read :-)

(Brian's title - The worms go in, the worms go out - brought back memories of a song my mother taught us when we were littlies, to do with graveyards, bodies, & worms crawling in & out... Deliciously icky for small persons :-) - we loved it!)

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