Ancient critter granddaddy of shellfish

2013-01-17 20:36
Fossilised body feathers of the ancient Inkayacu paracasensis penguin, unearthed in Peru. (AP Photo)

Fossilised body feathers of the ancient Inkayacu paracasensis penguin, unearthed in Peru. (AP Photo)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Paris - A weird marine creature that lived 500 million years ago at a time of explosive growth in Earth's biodiversity could be a forerunner of worms and molluscs, a study published on Thursday said.

Palaeontologists in China and Europe have taken a second look at fossils of a species called Cotyledion tylodes - a small animal that, when it was identified in 1999, was at first thought to be a cnidarian, or part of a group of jellyfish-like species.

C tylodes had a goblet-shaped body between eight and 56mm long, with a cup-shaped upper part and lower cylindrical stalk.

On the upper part, the creature's mouth lay adjacent to its anus, with the two organs connected by a U-shaped gut and encircled by a "crown" of foldable tentacles, the scientists found.

The peculiar anatomy means that C tylodes is most probably an entoproct, meaning an organism that strains sea water to filter out suspended food particles.

If so, its place in the family tree is wrong, says the study. It is likely to be a primitive lophotrochozoan, a branch that today includes worms and shellfish.

The study appears in the journal Nature Scientific Reports.

Read more on:    nature  |  science

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Miley Cyrus can’t get enough of her new puppy

Miley's new dog is too adorable.



13 guilty pets
Meet SA's top poacher-catcher
The unusual pets of Instagram
Bertie sets a new world record!

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

The Leo moon adds an element of drama and entertainment. A significant person that you may consult or confide in may play more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.