According to old English legends, Excalibur is a magical sword used by legends. King Arthur — Providers of roundtables in the 5th and 6th centuries and parents of the United Kingdom. Today, its fascinating blade legend lives on in the name of a prehistoric worm that can be crushed between two fingers.
meet Lepidocoleus caliburnus..(Only an inch long), this eerie crawler living in the ancient sea may not reach the height of its name in Artagne — but as a new study in the journal. Paleontology papers As pointed out, it at least appeared to be part of a heavily armored knight, covered with an overlapping plate of calcite crystals running along the entire length of the creature’s body.
With that cousin seed L. Shrikenus — Named after the Shuriken (a pointed ninja throwing star) and first explained in a new study — L. caliburnus About 400 million years ago Devonian, Currently in Australia. Both worms probably inhabited shallow coral reefs that are now part of mainland Australia, the study authors write. They probably ate organic waste and used armor plates to protect them from predators.
To find out how well these creatures are protected, the authors of the study performed micro-CT scans of worm fossils and created digital 3D models of armor plates.
Related: In the image: the oldest fossil on earth
“Using micro-CT, we can effectively separate the individual components of the armor,” said Sarah Jake, an assistant professor of earth sciences at the University of Missouri and principal research author. Said in a statement.. “You can manipulate the virtual model to determine how individual pieces of armor have moved to each other, and the degree of overlap between them.”
Researchers have discovered that the worm has two overlapping armor systems. One runs the length of each worm’s skeleton and the other covers both sides of the creature.Worms could have been able to curl into the ball to better dodge predators — but in the end, these striking defenses did not prevent the worms from disappearing in the “major”. bottom extinction The imminent mass extinction at the end of the Devonian wiped out 75% of life. EarthIt started 365 million years ago.
These two worms, Excalibur and Shuriken, who are second to none in history, are probably relieved to know that the dangerous and bold story of life is still being told 400 million years later. King Arthur will kill him in the same way.
Originally published on Live Science.
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