Ancient Monster Worm Discovered In Canadian Museum

First Posted: Feb 24, 2017 04:47 AM EST

Researchers at the University of Bristol, Lund University of Sweden and the Royal Ontario Museum recently studied an ancient fossil that has been stored in the museum since the mid-1990s. It seemed to be the remains of an extinct bristle worm -- the marine relative of earthworms and leeches.

The new (but extinct) species, according to, is a unique fossil of worms. It is said to possess the largest jaws ever recorded for their type of creature. Also, it is said to be a centimeter long and is easily visible to the naked eye. While not so large compared to other species, it is massive for its type. Normally, such jaws should only be a few milimeters in size and should be studied through a microscope.

In today's environment, the ancient worms are compared to Bobbit worms, which are said to prey on fish and cephalods (like squids). Fox News reported that scientists gave this creature an interesting name: Websteroprion armstrongi, the second part to honor Derek K. Armstrong, a member of the Ontario Geological Survey who took the samples in the first place.

The first part of the name, however, is more interesting, because it is not named after the dictionary. In fact, it is named after a musician named Alex Webster, a bass player for a death metal band called Cannibal Corpse. A statement from the researchers said that this was due to the fact that Webster was a "giant" on the bass, the same way the worm is. It could grow up to a meter and is a giant itself.

Luke Parry, one of the researchers who looked into the worm, shared that naming it after a musician is also fitting. It is because not only do they have the appetite for evolution and paleontology but the authors of the study also share a profound interest in music and are, in fact, hobby musicians.

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