posted on Dec, 9 2012 @ 06:49 AM
is reporting that a
"bizarre" creature has been discovered that dates back 200 million years.
The creature, eventually identified as the ciliate Vorticella
, was apparently trapped in the mucus from a leech, thus preserving the
soft-bodied animal until its discovery.
Here is a description of the creature:
This bell animal lived during the Late Triassic Period, when the Earth was much warmer, with dense rain forests flourishing along what is today the
Transantarctic Mountain Range where it was found. At the time, Antarctica was part of the supercontinent Gondwana, though it was still located at high
Past research has suggested this coiled stalk, which is used to attach to substrates, may be one of the fastest cellular engines known, changing from
a telephone wire-like structure to a tight coil at a speed of about 8 centimeters (3.1 inches) per second -- the equivalent of a human being walking
the across more than three football fields in one second
Here's a pic of the little critter