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Mystery surrounds bizarre sea creature

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Kristin Moore
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« on: June 27, 2015, 12:35:57 am »

Mystery surrounds bizarre sea creature
Posted on Thursday, 25 June, 2015

The prehistoric creature was undeniably bizarre. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Natural Math

A 508 million-year-old spiky sea creature was so strange that scientists decided to name it Hallucigenia.

Discovered in the 1970s at the Burgess Shale site in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, this peculiar worm-like creature has remained something of a mystery for years.

Measuring only two inches in length its unusual features, including seven pairs of nail-like spikes on its back and three pairs of skinny tentacles near its head, have seen it regarded as a bit of an oddity.

Now however thanks to a new in-depth examination of its fossil remains scientists have finally been able to get a more complete picture of what made this unique palaeontological enigma tick.

"It is nice to finally know rather fundamental things such as how many legs it has, and to know its head from its tail," said paleontologist Martin Smith from the University of Cambridge.

Hallucigenia is thought to have hailed from the Cambrian Period around 500 million years ago, a particularly significant time in history when most of the major groups of animals first appeared.

It possessed a small mouth cavity and a throat lined with tiny needle-like teeth that were designed to grip food and hasten its passage in to the stomach.

It also had a strange hose-like neck with two bean-shaped eyes on top of its head.

"It would have been quite a sight," said paleontologist Jean-Bernard Caron.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2015, 12:37:31 am by Kristin Moore » Report Spam   Logged

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Unholy Beast
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« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2015, 12:23:51 am »

This just goes to show that there are still many creatures still to be discovered these days.
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« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2015, 12:25:42 am »

Including, perhaps, Sasquatch!
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