21 Jan '12, 1pm

Gregarious Cambrians (Siphusauctum gregarium) discovered | Scitech | The Earth Times via @earthtimes

Gregarious Cambrians (Siphusauctum gregarium) discovered | Scitech | The Earth Times via @earthtimes

This is the culprit. A small holdfast clasps the substrate to hold the filters in a water current; Credit: © M. Collins Lorna O'Brien always wanted to be a doctor. The gregarious "tulip creatures" (Siphusauctum gregarium ) of Mount Stephen's Burgess Shale are hopefully granting her wish at the University of Toronto. The fossils have just been discovered near the town of Field, in large colonies from 500 million years ago. The Cambrian was the first flowering of complex animal life and the soft shales of Canada's World Heritage Site have perplexed and bewildered palaeontologists about their relationships to modern phyla. These creatures solve the puzzle in one question. No, they are not related to anything else at all. They might as well be the much hoped for life on a distant earth-like planet. "Our description is based on more than 1,100 fossil specimens from a new Burges...

Full article: http://www.earthtimes.org/scitech/gregarious-cambrians/1774/

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