Fossil sea jelly calls for rewrite of animal family tree

Published on September 8th, 2011 | by Admin

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jelly

A 580-million-year-old fossil of a sea jelly which looks like the spial galaxy Andromeda is calling for a rewrite of the earliest branches of the animal tree of life.

The researchers, led by paleontologist Feng Tang of the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences in Beijing, believe that Eoandromeda is the ancient ancestor of modern ocean dwellers known as comb jellies — gelatinous creatures similar to jellyfish, but rounder and with eight rows of iridescent paddles along their sides. If they are right, it would be the oldest known fossil of a comb jelly. And that would support a rewrite of the animal tree.

[Full story]

Story: Amy Maxmen and Nature Magazine, Scientific America | Photo: Feng Tang

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