You couldn't make this stuff up
But Barrington J. Bayley could - and did.
Fossil-boffins probing into the remains of a soft-bodied tulip animal that lived in the Rockies 500 million years ago have just published a paper revealing the secrets of the weird creature. Essentially stomachs on stalks, the tulip-shaped creatures known as Siphusauctum gregarium lived in great herds and are the most commonly …
The early Cambrian must have been like some sort of ITV game show 'tonight only one family will be going through into the Ordovician, the others will be turned into coal. We asked 100 trilobites...'
Superficially it has some similarities to Crinoids which pop up in the Ordovician and were largely extinctified in the Permian. But this is a bilaterally symmetric beastie whereas crinoids (like other echinoderms) have five-fold symmetry.
The fossils in the article are amazing. I'd love to have one - but not quite as much as I'd like a tyrannosaur in the living room...
" But this is a bilaterally symmetric beastie whereas crinoids (like other echinoderms) have five-fold symmetry." ..... Mike Richards Friday 20th January 2012 14:52 GMT
Five-fold symmetry with a bilaterally asymmetric beastie is an altogether different Great Game, MR.
Being devilishly good at being oneself is a revelation and instant tonic relief. A secret to nurture to the grave and deliver to the future.
Yes, interesting point... at university we were told by our geology lecturer (and not all that long ago, either) that no soft-bodied creatures were preserved in the fossil record.
Not only is this (obviously) untrue, they're not even rare in the fossil record! The problem is, most people working in this field are indoctrinated to believe that the fossil record represents millions of years of slow and gradual deposition when in fact it's very clear from any rational examination of the evidence that this is not true; the fossil record is evidence of watery destruction on a catastrophic worldwide scale, everything swept away or buried in massive layers of rapidly-deposited silt.
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