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Based on the appearance of those initial fossil preparations, the first restoration made in 1977 presented us with an animal walking along the bottom of the seafloor on spiny stilts, waving seven dorsal tentacles from its back
“The peculiar claws of Hallucigenia are a smoking gun that solves a long and heated debate in evolutionary biology,” said the paper’s lead author, Dr Martin Smith of the University of Cambridge.
“It’s often thought that modern animal groups arose fully formed during the Cambrian Explosion, But evolution is a gradual process: today’s complex anatomies emerged step by step, one feature at a time. By deciphering ‘in-between’ fossils like Hallucigenia, we can determine how different animal groups built up their modern body plans.”
The proboscis of Opabinia terminated in a pincer which had spines that pointed forwards and inwards on the inner sides of the claws. What this pincer was used on is difficult to say as it would have equally been able to grasp small soft bodied organisms as well as small chunks of organic matter. The low number of Opabinia specimens in relation to other species may point towards the latter carnivore theory.
Opabinia is loosely defined as a lobopod in that its body was arranged in segments called 'lobes'. However while superficially similar to later creatures like trilobites, the lobes of Opabinia seem to have been soft, without the hard exoskeleton that later arthropods would possess.
Contradictions and puzzles surround the giant fossil Prototaxites. The fossils resemble tree trunks, and yet they are from a time before trees existed. The stable carbon isotope values are similar to those of fungi, but the fossils do not display structures usually found in fungi. Plant-like polymers have been found in the fossils, but nutritional evidence supports heterotrophy, which is not commonly found in plants.
This enormous pterosaur, or flying reptile, may have been the largest flying animal ever.
Its 12-metre wingspan would have enabled it to soar and glide over long distances, while its keen eyesight would have meant that it could locate food from high in the sky.
Recent evidence suggests that Quetzalcoatlus may have had feeding habits a bit like those of modern storks, combining scavenging for carrion, with preying on small animals, such as small dinosaurs.
originally posted by: Nechash
a reply to: Thecakeisalie
Just a lesson I derived from your example. You are such a good teacher, and it pleases me greatly. All the things of this world are a trap prepared to snap shut at any minute. It is amazing what a healthy dose of disbelief can do for you. ;p
originally posted by: Soylent Green Is People
Quetzalcoatlus looks like he's wearing a beret, making him look French, or a mime, or both (which is creepy).
originally posted by: ABNARTY
I know everyone loves dinosaurs and who can blame them? BUT, there is so much more to ancient life!