Fossils show giant worms may have burrowed into the ancient seafloor

illustration of ancient bobbit worms

Around 20 million years ago, giant ocean worms may have burrowed into the seafloor and burst forth like the space slug from Star Wars to ambush unsuspecting fish. Ancient underground lairs left behind by these animals appear in rocks from coastal Taiwan, researchers report January 21 in Scientific Reports. The diggers may have been analogs […]

Giant worms terrorized the ancient seafloor from hidden death traps

Gigantic predatory marine worms that lived about 20 million years ago ambushed their prey by leaping at them from underground tunnels in the sea bottom, new fossils from Taiwan reveal.  These monster worms may have been ancestors of trap-jawed modern Bobbit worms (Eunice aphroditois), which also hide in burrows under the ocean floor and can […]

Marie Tharp’s groundbreaking maps brought the seafloor to the world

Walk the halls of an academic earth sciences department, and you’ll likely find displayed on a wall somewhere a strikingly beautiful map of the world’s ocean floors. Completed in 1977, the map represents the culmination of the unlikely, and underappreciated, career of Marie Tharp. Her three decades of work as a geologist and cartographer at […]