Friday, 20 October 2017

Ancient Sea Creature Looked Like a Wine Glass, Died Alone

A solitary fossil unearthed in Utah's Antimony Canyon reveals a long-extinct marine creature previously unknown to science.

Resembling a dainty tulip bloom or an elegant white-wine glass, the 500-million-year-old bottom-feeder called Siphusauctum lloydguntheri looked uniquely ready for a romantic evening of sucking up microplankton along the seafloor. Sadly for the specimen, the world's only known example of S. lloydguntheri appears to have died alone, leaving no descendants past the end of the Cambrian period (541 million to 485.4 million years ago), possibly the victim of mass extinction.

Researchers at the University of Kansas' Biodiversity Institute described what little is known about the obscure invertebrate in a new paper published in the Journal of Paleontology. [Cambrian Creatures: Photos of Primitive Sea Life]

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