Scientists have found fossils of Cthulhu in Herefordshire, UK. The new finding has offered new insights perceptions into the early phase evolution of sea cucumbers. The species include the sea pig and its family. Paleontologists reveal the new species of extinct sea cucumber looks like a mess of tentacles. The creature owns a scientific name as Sollasina Cthulhu, in memory of H.P. Lovecraft’s imaginary sea monster. Scientists used computer simulations to create a 3D image from a 430-million-year-old fossil. A team of International researchers conducted the study, and the Oxford University Museum of Natural History guided it.
The 430-million-years old fossilized creature has 45 tentacles. The mesh of tentacles sprouted from a central body is wrapped in strong plates. Its finders say that those tentacles probably helped the monster to crawl around the sea bed, along with passing food to the mouth, present in the center of the body. While it looks horrifying, the whole creature measures only pretty 3 cm wide. But it seemed like a monster due to its many long tentacles. The research published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B found inner rings that might have been part of a water vascular system.
Study’s leading author, Dr. Jeffrey Thompson, said they conducted several studies to reveal whether the creature was a close relative of sea cucumbers or urchins. The result shocked researchers because the fossils belonged to an ancient sea cucumber. Scientists say this helps us to determine the transformations that took place during early stage development of the species. Imran says Sollasina belongs to an extinct species of the ophiocistioids. Besides, the new finding sheds light on groups internal structures. It includes an inner ring-like form that is not mentioned in previous groups. Thus Imran and the team explain this as the first proof of the spongy sections of the water vascular system in ophiocistioids. While Sollasina seems like a type of sea urchin, scientists reveal that the evolutionary history of the creature is more closely related to the sea cucumber.
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