Feeds

Ancient tulip-like stomach-onna-stick creatures found in Rockies

Waving anus-tipped filter flowers covered Cambrian sea bottom

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Fossil-boffins probing into the remains of a soft-bodied tulip animal that lived in the Rockies 500 million years ago have just published a paper revealing the secrets of the weird creature.

Essentially stomachs on stalks, the tulip-shaped creatures known as Siphusauctum gregarium lived in great herds and are the most commonly found fossils in a fossil bed dating from the middle Cambrian period, when the Rockies were submerged under the oceans.

According to painstaking fossil-analysis by a team from the University of Toronto, the bulb-shaped stomachs grew up to 22cm, and connected to the seabed with little tentacles attached to the end of its stem. Its prominent bulb-shaped organ would have waved in the sea currents and expanded to draw water inside it, contracting to expel it out the top through a small anus.

The Siphusauctum gregarium was a filter-feeder, with its internal structure consisting almost entirely of intestine:

"Internal structures include a central and prominent sac-like gut enclosed by a tube representing the margins of the body cavity" explains the paper authored by Lorna J O'Brien and Jean-Bernard Cohen. "The gut differentiated into three main zones, an ovoid lower tract near the base of the calyx, grading into a bulbous mid-gut, then tapering into a straight and thin upper intestine projecting upwards to a central terminal anus."

It's likely the tulip creatures were buried under a mud slide along with a slice of other sea bed life about 500 million years ago to create the famous Middle Cambrian Burgess Shale fossil bed. The stalked stomach is another weird life form from the biological expansion known as the 'Cambrian explosion' a time when life on earth burgeoned wildly in diversity of form. ®

The paper A New Stalked Filter-Feeder from the Middle Cambrian Burgess Shale, British Columbia, Canada by Lorna J. O'Brien and Jean-Bernard Caron is published by PLoS One in pdf.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.