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Friday, March 25, 2016

Scientists solve the Tully Monster mystery

Fossils of these animals have the most bizarre form of ever found. So strangely until scientists call it as 'Tully Monster,' and its name derived from Francis Tully, an amateur fossil hunters who discovered the fossil in the central part of the United States in 1958.

Now a group of researchers from Yale University may finally find the answers to some questions about the evolutionary peculiarity of the species is officially called 'Tullimonstrum gregarium'. The results were then published in the current issue of the journal Nature and offers a clearer picture of the 300 million years old sea creatures.
Possible forms of the Tully Monster 300 million years old. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1YcGxU)
This creature does look like a monster, because the teeth and mouth at the end of the neck in the form of a trunk and looked more like claws than the mouth. More bizarre, its eyes there is a little above the middle of each side of the body, at the end of something similar rods along its spine. The body length only up to 30 centimeters.
The Tully Monster fossil. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1YcHS5)
However, although seems strange, it seems they are quite productive. Scientists have found thousands of Tully Monster fossils. For years, scientists have been puzzled not only by its looks, but also with the category of this sea creature - whether including mollusks, fish, or something else entirely?
3D model of Tully Monster. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1YcHS5)
Through high-tech analysis, the researchers concluded that the Tully Monster has gills and spine called a notochord, those are the two new things became known by the scientists. They also found that it looks like the creature is a predator, not surprising with their full molar teeth, and the closest living relative today is the lamprey eel.

But there are still some lingering questions, such as when it appears and when it became extinct. Another mystery is why the fossils of the Tully Monster only found in one place, which is now a coal mine in Illinois, USA. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | THE VERGE]
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