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Billions of Missing Links: Velvet Worms

Note: This is the first of a series of posts excerpted from my book, Billions of Missing Links: A Rational Look at the Mysteries Evolution Can't Explain.

Velvet worms are thought to be descended of insects, but the evidence for this is scanty; they look a lot like worms, and they have remained unchanged for millions of years. They live along fallen leaves in tropical forests and have two nozzles, one on each side of their head, which can fire off a very quickly drying glue at their prey. These two sprays crisscross back and forth, as if lassoing the victim. Once the victim is securely ensnared, the worm bites a hole in its body, injects digestive juices, and then slurps up the dissolving victim. Curiously, this glue does not dry within the worm's body, and its digestive juices are well contained. Imagine the difficulty if the intermediate glue dried within the velvet worm, clogging the nozzles, or dried too slowly, allowing the victim to get away before becoming ensnared.

Taken from: Billions of Missing Links
Copyright © 2007 by Geoffrey Simmons, M.D.
Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR
Used by Permission