525 Million-Year-Old Fossil Discovered in China

ADVERTISEMENT

This is the detail of 525 million-year-old hemichordate.Photo: Professor Derek Siveter, Oxford UniversityThis is the entire 525 million-year-old hemichordate

Researchers working near Yunnan in China have found a 525 million-year-old fossil that belongs to a primitive group of sea creatures which had tentacles and lived in hard tubes. This is the first time that the whole fossil, including the organism’s soft tissue, has been found; in the past it was just a few tubes. As you can see in these remarkable images, this is the whole creature, tentacles included.

This is the entire 525 million-year-old hemichordate.Photo: Professor Derek Siveter, Oxford UniversityThis is the detail of 525 million-year-old hemichordate

Professor David Siveter, of the University of Leicester’s Department of Geology, said: “Amazingly, it has exceptionally preserved soft tissues – including arms and tentacles used for feeding – giving unrivalled insight into the ancient biology of the group.” Its name is Galeaplumosus, which means ‘feathered helmet from beyond the clouds’. Yunnan itself means ‘south of the clouds’.

This is another important piece of information which will aid our understanding of evolutionary history, and the researchers aim to continue to study the find for the next few months.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT