2020 has struck again, this time in the form of an invasive species known as the hammerhead worm, a nearly foot-long invertebrate that produces a toxin similar to that of a puffer fish that it shoots out of its mouth:
Step aside "murder hornets," sightings of an invasive species of a snake-like worm are being reported in Georgia https://t.co/BGFSDbDiFi
— CNN (@CNN) November 24, 2020
The snake-like worm, which can grow up to nearly a foot in length, gets its name due to its half-moon-shaped head. The mouths of hammerhead worms are located midway down the bottom surface of their bodies rather than on their heads, Murphy says.
The worms are carnivorous and feed primarily on earthworms, according to Murphy. However, they are also known to “prey on other soil dwelling invertebrates,” Murphy said.
The worms produce tetrodotoxin, the same deadly neurotoxin produced by pufferfish, according to a study from Utah State University.
2020 — can’t stop, won’t stop:
2020, the gift that keeps on giving. https://t.co/DpemXGSFSQ
— Lara Weber (@lweber) November 24, 2020
Georgia, the universe is not done with you yet:
Could everything just leave Georgia alone for a minute? https://t.co/Pgtjlj5R5n
— Kim Severson (@kimseverson) November 24, 2020
And we really haven’t even gotten started yet on the Senate runoff elections:
Haven’t we Georgians been through enough already? https://t.co/TXJUDxMwvG
— Greg Bluestein (@bluestein) November 24, 2020
Nope, sorry. The state is here to stay:
I love the Georgia, but we have no choice now but to saw the state off from the rest of the mainland and let it float out to sea. https://t.co/LeM2tnmYSk
— Liam Martin (@LiamWBZ) November 24, 2020