Giant Predatory Worms Quietly Invaded France, And Biologists Are Shocked
When Jean-Lou Justine received the first photograph of a giant worm with a head like a shovel, the biologist was astounded.
Hammerhead flatworms, which grow to a foot or more in length, do not belong in European vegetable gardens.
“We do not have that in France,” said Justine, a professor at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris.
The predatory worms are native to Asia, where they happily gobble up earthworms under a warmer sun.
The gardener who took the first photo, an amateur naturalist named Pierre Gros, emailed Justine a second picture a week later. It was of a completely different species of giant worm.
When Gros sent a third photograph, of a third species, Justine thought the images must be a prank: “The man is bringing back worms from his travels, and he pretends he finds them in his garden!”