It is believed that 500 billion years ago the depths of the ocean was completely uninhabitable. The Mackenzie mountains in the far North of Canada, which had plates of an ancient seabed, prove the opposite — an ancient ecosystem teemed with creatures crustaceans and predatory worms. The discovery was accidentally made by geologist Brian Pratt from University of Saskatchewan — he found numerous holes in the study of samples of sedimentary rocks collected 35 years ago.

Ancient stones have been discovered during normal walking. Noticing the greenish rocks, the geologist carefully cut them and took it to the lab. To change the contrast before examining under the flatbed scanner, he handled the stones. Of course, over millions of years, no remains of the worms survived, but after processing photos in a photo editor, the researcher noticed many burrows made by worms of different sizes.

It turned out that the size of some types of prehistoric worms was not more than a few millimeters, and the size of the other reached up the length of the human finger with a diameter of 1.5 inches . Large worms, likely to have been predators who cleverly hid in the ground exposing the jaw out and attacked crustaceans victims from ambush.

The fossilized burrows were formed in the Cambrian period, about 270 million years before dinosaurs. Geologists believe that they have been well preserved due to the small amount of oxygen at the bottom of the ancient ocean — if it was more tissue would have decayed much faster. The preservation was facilitated by a small number of living organisms that eat organic matter.

Geologists are going to start to cooperate with other researchers, and to study younger breed. Perhaps this will be followed by other, even more amazing discoveries.

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