The fossil of an ancient marine creature dating back 520 million years and carrying 18 tentacles was discovered in China, discovery that stunned researchers.
The amazing discovery, known as Daihua sanqiong, could have been a distant relative of the comb jelly, according to scientists who discovered it.
"When I saw the fossil for the first time, I immediately noticed some features that I had observed in comb jellies," said Dr. Jakob Vinther, a molecular paleobiologist, in a statement. communicated. The jelly combs are fossilizing. The fossil also preserves rows of eyelashes that can be seen because they are huge. Through the tree of life, such large ciliary structures are found only in comb jellies.
110 MILLION ANCIENT FOSSIL OF BIRDS FOUND WITH AN EGG IN THE INTERIOR
In addition, Vither told the press conference that the discovery of the old sea monster was a big problem, because it was perhaps one of the first animals to have evolved on Earth.
However, Casey Dunn, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Yale University, questioned the results. In an interview with Live Science, he said "extremely skeptical about the conclusions they are drawing". Dunn did not participate in the study.
The 18 tentacles contained "thin feather-like branches with rows of large ciliary hairs," which were used to help the creature catch prey, the statement said.
Daihua may have had more tentacles than modern octopus, but it is not the only ancient creature to have so many weapons. Dinomischus, a creature that lived 508 million years ago, also had 18 tentacles and an organic skeleton.
"We also understood that a fossil, Xianguangia, that we always thought to be a sea anemone, is actually part of the jelly comb branch," said co-author, Cong Peiyun, in his communicated.
In this study, researchers showed how comb frogs evolved, describing the organic skeleton he possessed during the Cambrian period, as well as the tentacle combs and other evolutionary changes.
"With such body transformations, I think we have some of the answers to understand why comb jellies are so difficult to understand," added co-author Dr. Luke Parry. "That explains why they have lost so many genes and have a morphology that we see in other animals."
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The study was published in the scientific journal Current biology.