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Monday, June 29, 2015

The face puzzle of scoop-headed sea worms solved

More than 100 years after the discovery of the first fossils, the face of ancient creature named Hallucigenia became a puzzle. Now, with the discovery of the latest specimen in Canada, scientists succeeded in solving the puzzle.

"The animal face was so strange. Animals that looked like a creature from another world," said Martin Smith, a paleontologist from the University of Cambridge, who conducted the research.
An artist's painting of Hallucigenia sparsa. (Picture from: http://bbc.in/1BQOb5E)
Hallucigenia sparsa is ancient sea creatures that live in the ocean about 500 million years ago. Animals that measures only 2 centimeters with one side of his body adorned with thorns, while on the other hand there is a sort of claw organs.

Animals that save a lot of puzzles. "In fact, there are still a lot of ambiguity about where the head and which the tail of the animal," said Smith.
A Hallucigenia sparsa fossil from the Burgess Shale site in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/1HjjFmT)
The recent discoveries of the animal fossil was in the Burgess Shale, Canada, this time to give a lot of new instructions. Through observation with a microscope, scientists can see the Hallucigenia eyes and cheeks that turned rounded as if it were smiling.

Describing the moment when scientists looked at the creature's face, Smith said, "It's as if the fossil was smiling to us with the secrets it holds."

Hallucigenia have spoon-shaped head. In the mouth, there are two sets of teeth, wherein one circular in tip of the mouth and the other as marching from the esophagus to the stomach.

Studies reveal that the mysterious blob in animals that were not part of the body, but regurgitated stomach contents as fossilized animals.

Xiaoya Ma, head of the Natural History Museum in London, revealed that Hallucigenia reflect the early development of type peripatus, a creature with a body resembling a worm that does not have a backbone.

"This discovery will improve our understanding of the early evolution of the evolutionary line that produced peripatus present time," Ma Xiaoya said as quoted from the BBC, on Wednesday, June 24, 2015. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | BBC]
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