Massive 18-inch hammerhead worms are invading France

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by crosscreekcooter, May 23, 2018.

  1. crosscreekcooter

    crosscreekcooter Cunning Linguist
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    http://www.foxnews.com/science/2018/05/23/massive-18-inch-hammerhead-worms-are-invading-france.html

    It may sound like something out of a 1950's B-Horror movie, but giant-sized hammerhead worms are invading France.

    Giant hammerhead flatworms are taking over parts of France, disrupting the ecosystem, causing a concern for researchers.

    "The present findings strongly suggest that the species present in Metropolitan France and overseas territories should be considered invasive alien species," the study's discussion reads. "Our numerous records in the open in Metropolitan France raise questions: as scientists, we were amazed that these long and brightly coloured worms could escape the attention of scientists and authorities in a European developed country for such a long time; improved awareness about land planarians is certainly necessary."

    [​IMG]
    (Some one to two days following feeding, the fission process is first manifested by a slight pinching of the body, some 1–2 cm. from the tail tip. Severance occurs when the tail tip adheres to the substratum and the rest of the planarian pulls away. Sexual reproduction outside their native habitat is restricted to individuals occupying outdoor situations in tropical or subtropical climates. Elsewhere they reproduce asexually. The links between sexuality and climate, and switching between scissiparity and egg cocoon production indicate that several interacting factors are involved, not least the availability of food and climatic variability (Winsor, Johns & Barker, 2004) (Photo by Pierre Gros) )

    The study was published in the scientific journal PeerJ earlier this week. The researchers who worked on the study are Jean-Lou Justine, Leigh Winsor, Delphine Gey, Pierre Gros and Jessica Thévenot.

    Measuring more than 1 foot in length and sometimes as much as 18 inches, the flatworms have heads similar to hammerhead sharks, the study noted. Going back to 1999, there have been 111 records of the worms (there are five different species), with the study highlighting their impact.

    The study also notes that two types of flatworm in the Diversibipalium genus — one black, found in France, and an iridescent blue version found on the island of Mayotte — are probably new species.

    Speaking with LiveScience, lead study author Jean-Lou Justine said the reason these flatworms have been deemed an "invasive alien species" is that they are able to reproduce asexually and have no known predators. A single individual can produce many offspring immediately, Justine told Live Science.

    "Another reason is the absence of predators," Justine told LiveScience via email. "Land flatworms produce chemicals that give them an unpleasant taste," so predators avoid eating the worms.

    The species have also been found in Central America, La Réunion island and even parts of Florida. :leaving:

    The researcher added in the interview that the flatworms eat organisms that live in the soil, which could affect the life cycles of plants and soil ecology.

    "As invasive predators, [giant flatworms] are likely to be a threat to the abundance and biodiversity of the soil invertebrates," he said.
     
  2. MJMGator

    MJMGator Slightly amused
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    I’ve seen them here in Atlanta over the past few years. Nasty m’fers.
     
  3. crosscreekcooter

    crosscreekcooter Cunning Linguist
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    I never knew they existed before today.
     
  4. AugustaGator

    AugustaGator Junior Member
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    Need bigger birds?
     
  5. MJMGator

    MJMGator Slightly amused
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    If you step on one, it’s like they damn near disintegrate. Long, slimy disgusting things.
     
  6. g8tr72

    g8tr72 Well-Known Member

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    I'd like to have 50 or so to drown at my favorite fishing hole, and the time to do so.
     
    • TLB

      TLB Just chillin'
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      And I thought Massive 18-inch hammerhead worms are invading France meant there was a new male porn star filming in Paris or Nice
       
    • bradgator2

      bradgator2 1/29/17 half marathon - 1 hour, 34 min, 2 secs
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      Are they black?
       
      • crosscreekcooter

        crosscreekcooter Cunning Linguist
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        What's your point?
         
      • itsgr82bag8r

        itsgr82bag8r Political Forum Fire Starter
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        Looks like great Cobia bait to me.....
         
      • Concrete Helmet

        Concrete Helmet Hook, Line, and Sinker
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        Let me guess.....the French need our help with this invasion too.....
         
        • itsgr82bag8r

          itsgr82bag8r Political Forum Fire Starter
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        • Gulfstream

          Gulfstream zzzzzzzzzzz
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          :bwahaha:
           

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