During investigations in the North Sea, a striking worm was unexpectedly found on the Dutch coast. That reports NatureToday. Although it carries pieces of shell on its tube, just like the well-known Shell Tube Worm, it is a different species. This is the Giant Shell Tube Worm, or Loimia ramzega. A worm about 65 centimeters long.
The giant worm was first found by French researchers in 2017 on a beach in Brittany. They considered the animal a new discovery in the sciences and named the species Loimia ramzega after its gigantic size. The Breton beaches have been investigated for some time, but the giant worm has never been found there before. Therefore, the researchers suggest that the worms may be exotic. But it was later discovered that the species had already emerged on the south coast of England in the 19th century.
In the meantime, the giant worm is already widespread across the coasts of Europe. The animal was not only found in England, but has also been seen in the Dutch North Sea on the Frisian Front and the Bruine Bank. And the animal has also appeared in the North Sea in Germany. The fact that such a large, striking worm is found in several places in a short time gives the impression that it is a recent immigrant. This certainly applies to the finds of the Giant Shell Tubeworm in the Netherlands, because they were discovered on the Frisian Front and the Bruine Bank, two fairly well-explored parts of the North Sea.
It is not yet clear whether we can expect the Giant Shell Tubeworm on Belgian beaches soon. It is certainly not excluded. From now on, the ANEMOON Foundation will also actively search for the giant worm.