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A strange 525 million-year-old fossil creature is baffling scientists

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posted on Aug, 21 2005 @ 05:31 AM
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I fount this strange news article...Check it out. See if you can figure out what scientists can't seem to do.




A strange 525 million-year-old fossil creature is baffling scientists because it does not fit neatly into any existing animal groups.

The 5-10cm-long (2-4 inch) fossil, from Anning in China, had a flattened body and horizontal fins which, researchers think, could have been used to support it as it moved along the sea floor. It also had well developed senses, including a pair of eyes on stalks.

The trouble is the animal, named Vetustodermis planus, did not possess a set of features, or characters, which placed it clearly within any known group.


Rest of the article
news.bbc.co.uk...

Has a Great Photo As Well




posted on Aug, 21 2005 @ 07:42 AM
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wow very strange



posted on Aug, 21 2005 @ 08:01 AM
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Neat =).

To me it looks like a mix between a trilobyte, a slug, and a lobster. If I had to guess from just the picture, I would say that it would probably behave most like a shell-less underwater snail/clam. Pretty small anyway. I like the big, crazy creatures.



posted on Aug, 21 2005 @ 03:38 PM
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Interestingly, and as discussed in the remainder of the article: this discovery is as much about evolving the taxonomy as it about the discovery of a new species.

Encouragingly, I guess it goes to show that new stuff is still causing the reappraisal of older learning ...



posted on Aug, 21 2005 @ 07:00 PM
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I'm no zoologist, but that thing in the article looks like a trilobite to me. I guess there must be some fundamental differences between the new species there and the trilobites that I'm not aware of.

The wiki article does state that trilobites lived in the cambrian period, as did the new species, so maybe one evolved from the other. Also, wiki states that there are thousands of trilobite species and more are still being discovered.

Of course, I'm just going by superficial visual observation here by a non-expert. I'm sure if I thought of trilobites right away, any expert would have, too, and must have ruled it out somehow, or else this confusion wouldn't exist in the first place.



posted on Aug, 22 2005 @ 01:50 PM
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Originally posted by brykc14
The trouble is the animal, named Vetustodermis planus, did not possess a set of features, or characters, which placed it clearly within any known group.

This is why so many paleontologists have moved away from classifiying organisms according to unique and unusual characteristics (called 'apomorphies'). In the 'instant' of the modern world, there appear to be definite sets of types of animals, but with the long view of the fossil record, its all indefinite. Its like the difference between white light, which has the full spectrum 'smeared' together, and light that's passed thru a prism, and has been seperated into discrete colours.



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