By El Mercurio / Chile / GDA
04/13/2019 | 07: 35 p.m.
3D recreation of the fossil of a sea cucumber that lived 430 million years ago
years, the team of scientists behind the project recognized a similarity with
the monsters of the fictional universe of "Cthulhu", created by the
writer H.P. Lovecraft and published for the first time in 1928.
new to science, the ancestor of slugs, has been called
"Sollasina cthulhu" by paleontologists in charge of the
research, described in a study published in the scientific journal
Proceedings of the Royal Society B this week.
fossil is only three centimeters wide, its many long tentacles
they would have made it seem quite monstrous for other small marine creatures
live at that moment. It is believed that these tentacles, or "feet
tubular ", used to capture food and crawl on the
other fossils found also in Herefordshire, in the United Kingdom, were studied
to this copy using a method that consisted of shredding it, layer by
layer, with a photograph taken at each stage. This produced hundreds of images
of cuts, which were digitally reconstructed as a "virtual fossil".
3D reconstruction allowed paleontologists to visualize an internal ring,
that they interpreted as part of the vascular system of water, the system of
channels filled with liquid used for feeding and movement in
live sea cucumbers and their relatives.
Studying cucumbers and sea urchins
principal, Imran Rahman, deputy head of Research at the History Museum
Natural of the University of Oxford, in the United Kingdom, he points out that this creature
belongs to an extinct group called opiocistioids, and this new material
provides the first information about the internal structures of the group.
includes an inner ring shape that has never been described in the group
before. We interpret this as the first evidence of the soft parts of the system
vascular of the water in the opiocistioides ", explains.
The new fossil
was incorporated into a computerized analysis of the evolutionary relationships of the
Fossil sea cucumbers and sea urchins. The results showed that
'Sollasina' and its relatives are more closely linked with cucumbers
of sea that with sea urchins, which sheds new light on the history
evolutionary of the group.
a series of analyzes to determine if 'Sollasina' was more closely
related to sea cucumbers or sea urchins. For our surprise,
the results suggest that it was an ancient sea cucumber. This helps us
understand the changes that occurred during the early evolution of
group, which ultimately gave rise to the forms of slugs we see
today, "says co-author of the paper, Jeffrey Thompson, member of the Royal
Society Newton International at University College London.