Snotworms For Dinner
Deep in the sea, on the denuded carcasses of whales, there live humble little scavengers. They’re the snotworms, better known to researchers as various species of the polychaete worm Osedax. They pursue a very dedicated lifestyle. Female snotworm larvae settle onto the exposed bones of dead whales, sending down “roots” to tap into the fatty substances locked in the cetacean’s skeleton. Together with mats of bacteria and other organisms, they’re part of a whale deconstruction crew that can totally break down the world’s largest animals.
And the snotworms have been at this for quite some time. Their distinctive pockmarks have been found on fossil whale bones dating back to about 30 million years ago. And