Paleontologists discovered a creature trapped in stone with a pincer-tipped nose, sharp needle-teeth and eyes on a slim stalk. This ancient animal was given a name: Tully monster.
For almost six decades, paleontologists were troubled by the bizarre Tullimonstrum gregarium fossils. This creature did not fit into any known major animal group, until now.
Scientists finally believe they have solved the mystery behind the Tully monster and where it lies on the tree of life, according to a new report published in the journal of Nature this week.
The fossils, discovered by the dozens in 1958 inside Illinois coalmines, were found in a 300-million-year-old rock.
The largest fossil stretched to only a foot long. Through reassessment of those ancient fossils, scientists were able to determine that the Tully monster was indeed a vertebrate because it had a rudimentary spinal cord.
Scientists analyzed 1,200 specimens to better understand the Tully monster’s form.
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SOURCE: CNN, Jareen Imam