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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!”

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