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新發現的巨型蠕蟲物種以已逝重金屬貝斯手Alex Webster命名

雖然這個蠕蟲的身體早已解體,但其口器化石留在了岩石中。通常蠕蟲的口器只有幾毫米,只能通過顯微鏡看到。但是科學家鑒定出這種蠕蟲的口器尺寸超過1厘米,並可以用肉眼看到。研究人員表示,根據其口器尺寸推測,這種動物的體長可能超過1米。

布里斯托爾大學在報告中指出,這些蠕蟲是“可怕的和善於把握機會的埋伏型捕食者,使用它們巨大的口器來捕捉魚類和頭足類(魷魚和章魚)等動物,然後將它們拖入自己的洞穴中。”由於其巨大的體型和強大的捕食能力,它們也贏得了“博比特蟲”(Bobbit worm)的稱號。

研究人員表示,這是迄今為止發現的最古老的“博比特蟲”。“博比特蟲”指體型較長的多毛類動物,主要生活於海底,目前有超過10000種物種。

研究人員將這種蠕蟲命名為Websteroprion armstrongi,其中armstrongi是以化石的發現者Derek K. Armstrong命名。 而第一部分Websteroprion則以已逝美國樂隊Cannibal Corpse貝司手Alex Webster命名。 研究人員表示:“當提到操作他的樂器時,他可以被視為一個’巨人’。”

另外,這項研究的共同作者Luke Parry表示:“這樣命名也非常恰當,除了進化和古生物學,三位作者也對音樂特別感興趣,他們都是熱情的業餘音樂愛好者。”

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