Questions for “Giant worms may have hidden beneath the ancient seafloor to ambush prey”

illustration of ancient bobbit worms

Like modern bobbit worms, ancient worms may have dug holes in the seafloor to lie in wait before attacking prey (illustrated), a new study suggests.

Y-Y. Pan et al./Scientific Reports 2021

To accompany “Giant worms may have hidden beneath the ancient seafloor to ambush prey


Before Reading:

1.  Where do worms live and what do they tend to eat?

2.  Name three types of animals that live on or in the seafloor.

During Reading:

1.  What’s the evidence for giant ocean worms living in the seafloor 20 million years ago?

2.  What are trace fossils and how do they differ from skeletal remains of dinosaurs?

3.  Where did the new worm fossils show up and how many of them are there?

4.  What’s the shape of the fossils and how do they tend to compare with other trace fossils, according to the story?

5.  Why do the researchers tend to rule out crustaceans as the source of these trace fossils?

6.  How do scientists think the animals that left these fossils behind would have hunted?

7.  If the scientists are right about what animals made these fossils, then the story argues that these worms would have been a rare example of what?

After Reading:

1.  Why is it generally difficult to understand or fully describe what animals left behind trace fossils?