When an amateur biologist kept digging up unusual, flat-headed worms in his garden beyond Paris, he understood something was amiss.
Pierre Gros, a biologist, emailed a photo to Jean-Lou Justine, a zoologist at the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris. Justine believed it was a phony, however Gros continued and kept sending in more pictures of the big worms.
“The man is restoring worms from his journeys, and he pretends he discovers them in his garden!” Justine informed The Washington Post of his ideas upon seeing the images.
However the two were on to an upsetting discovery: These worms, belonging to tropical Asia, were attacking France– and no one had actually observed.
Gros and Justine collaborated on a brand-new paper, released in the journal PeerJ, that files incidents of these native worms in France. As it ends up, these peaceful intruders have actually been inhabiting French area for nearly twenty years.
They have actually aso been discovered all over from England to French nests in the Caribbean.
The worms belong to a group of predatory types referred to as hammerhead flatworms, which grow to over a foot long. They victimize earthworms in the soil and produce a powerful mixed drink of chemicals to debilitate their victim.
Justine and Gros determined 3 types– which mainly showed up in France’s warmer south– that they now think have actually remained in the nation because a minimum of 1999.
Researchers like Justine are concerned about the results these intrusive types can have on regional animals. Earthworms are important for aerating soil and guaranteeing agriculturally efficient land. When brand-new predators are presented, like the huge flatworms, it can toss the entire, fragile environment out of whack.
Among the most unexpected parts of the discovery is that these worms left notification previously.
“It is France! It is expected to be an industrialized nation. We have a great deal of researchers; we have universities all over,” Justine informed The Post.