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Making head and tail of the strangest fossil

Discussion in 'Zoo Cafe' started by gentle lemur, 25 Jun 2015.

  1. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    Hallucigenia is famous as the strangest of all the strange invertebrate fossils from the 'Cambrian Explosion', found in the Burgess Shale in the Rockies. Its name indicates how strange it was - like a small worm with long spikes down one side of its body and soft arms or legs down the other and a puffy end that seemed to get squashed when it was fossilised.
    I awoke this morning to hear a scientist from Cambridge talking about it on 'Today' the BBC's flagship radio news programme, which was almost as bizarre, since the fossil is over 500 million years old and was discovered over 100 years ago :)
    He was Martin Smith, who has finally identified and described Hallucigenia's head, which was just as strange as the rest of its body.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-Z9Ssgb0Kg

    Alan
     
  2. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    I liked the little animation they provided at the end of what it may have looked like in life.
     
  3. callorhinus

    callorhinus Well-Known Member

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    They could finish this video in the style of NG's Tyrannosaurus autopsy idea :)
     
  4. wensleydale

    wensleydale Well-Known Member

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    I'm being reminded somehow of the Calvin and Hobbs where Calvin digs up a bunch of garbage in his backyard and puts it together, claiming that its a Dinosaur. Also, of the poem he wrote about scientists of the future finding his skeleton and putting it together wrong and wonder how he could have lived like that.
     
  5. SealPup

    SealPup Well-Known Member

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    Hallucigenia is just an armoured proto-peripatus.

    Wierder was the lamprey Tullimomstrum. Not some lamprey relative: but nested within recognisable fossil lampreys. Something similar could evolve somehow from the modern lampreys in future.
     
  6. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    Tullimonstrum only confused palaeontologists for about 60 years, Hallucigenia has been a puzzle for much longer. And I did qualify the word 'strangest' with reference to the Cambrian ;)
     
  7. Dassie rat

    Dassie rat Well-Known Member

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    In November, I went to the natural history museum in Oxford. It has a good collection on invertebrate systematics, but the Hallucinogenia model was upside down.
     
  8. SealPup

    SealPup Well-Known Member

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    It used to be interpreted upside down.

    Now about Palaeotaxites and Godzillus.