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When Jean-Lou Justine received the first photograph of a giant worm with a head like a shovel, the biologist was astounded. Hammerhead flatworms, which grow to a foot or more in length, do not belong in European vegetable gardens.
"We do not have that in France," said Justine, a professor at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris. The predatory worms are native to Asia, where they happily gobble up earthworms under a warmer sun. The gardener who took the first photo, an amateur naturalist named Pierre Gros, emailed Justine a second picture a week later. It was of a completely different species of giant worm. When Gros sent a third photograph, of a third species, Justine thought the images must be a prank: "The man is bringing back worms from his travels, and he pretends he finds them in his garden!"
Just as hammerhead sharks cruise through lagoons, hammerhead flatworms hunt through soil. Their soft bodies are chemical factories; they produce small amounts of a substance called tetrodotoxin to immobilize prey. What they lack in physical defenses, they make up in a cocktail of disgusting bodily juices. A colleague once tried to put a flatworm in his mouth, Justine recounted. The man still describes it as "one of the worst experiences of his life."
originally posted by: NarcolepticBuddha
a reply to: seattlerat
Why is this in pets?! Those things are gruesome. Shouldn't this be in some doom porn forum??