The remains of a bizarre creature that lived in the ocean more than 500 million years ago has been found in the Cambrian fossils - Burgess Shale - located in the Rocky Mountains of Canada. Fossils have received the official name Siphusauctum gregarium, in appearance much like a tulip. No more long kitchen knife (approximately 20 centimeters) of these mysterious beings have a unique filter system supply.
Siphusauctum gregarium or the so-called "animal-flower" consisted of a leg and rests on cup-shaped structure, which was unusual, and the power supply system with a strange filter and intestines. Biological entity, as scientists assume, absorb nutrients from the ocean, which fall into the cup, "flower" through small holes, filtering them. At the bottom of feet was a small disc that recorded the animal to the ocean floor.
The researchers point out that such a filter system from the point of view of modern biology and physiology of exotic looks very strange, but after about 500 million years ago, this creature lived in a moist environment, which provided him with nutrients. Moreover, this filter it from the water and cleaned all the nutrients. In addition, the scientists suggest that Siphusauctum gregarium developed the ability to draw up water with edible particles.
Canadian scientists say they Siphusauctum gregarium is the only, but the most unusual representative found in the mountainous areas of Canada. The total number of different biological forms found by scientists who belong to the middle Cambrian geological period was 63 species. Detail its findings the researchers described in the current issue of the journal PLoS One.
The researcher Lorna O’Brien, who participated in the project, said that the power supply system Siphusauctum gregarium different, exotic, even in his time, because then there is a clear separation between the flora and fauna. It also represented a transitional form, which has become a dead-end in the near future, in view of the emergence of more complex species.