430 million-year-old Cthulhu sea cucumber discovered by scientists

Recently researchers have found a new species of ancient sea cucumber, well preserved in 430 million-year-old rocks. The new species is recognized after 3D construction of the 430 million year fossil. The newly found species of old, monstrous sea cucumber is the discovery of international palaeontologists’ team led by Oxford University Museum of natural history. The team has recreated the image by grinding away the thin upper layer of the fossil in 3D. Individual of each stage was taken to create a virtual fossil. After the process of reconstruction in 3D, it is identified as a new species of monstrous Cthulhu from H.P. Lovecraft lore.

The new species is named as Sollasina Cthulhu. According to the concerned research team, the new creature crawled over the floor of the sea and used to capture food by the multiple tube feet tentacles. A unique body part is identified in this species for the first time. An internal ring is a part of vascular system-that is fluid-filled canals. The creature uses this inner ring to feed and to move. The distinct body part is discovered in this new species only, as it was not found in the Dead Sea cucumbers.

Sollasina Cthulhu is characterized by a body that is composed of some hard plates, 45 tube feet-looks like a tentacle and the mouth of is surrounded by five large teeth- in terms of morphological features, says the study by Imran Rahman from Oxford University. The fossil was found in the early 2000s and was revealed in the year 2006. But in late 2016 it was reconstructed, and a virtual fossil is resulted, based on the 3D reconstruction the scientists can identify the fossil.

The well preserved one-inch extensive fossil enables the scientists to reconstruct the 3D model so accurately, Says the lead author to Newsweek. The reconstruction is initiated through serial grinding, in which the layer of fossil ground away, few hundredths of a millimeter at a time. The photograph of each exposed surface is taken in a digital camera. The pictures enable the scientists to prepare a dataset of each part of the fossil and then reconstruct the 3D virtual fossil digitally.

Much analysis has been done to identify the exact species if Sollasina is related to ancient sea cucumber or the sea urchins. The result of the investigation suggested that the species is an old sea cucumber. By studying the concerned species, the early evolutionary changes that occurred in sea cucumber can be recognized. Many important facts and findings are recovered from the fossil site, Herefordshire in the UK. The international team explained the newly found species in Oxford University, Southern California University, University of Leicester, Yale University and Imperial College, London. Both hard and soft part of the fossil is preserved in the UK. The 3D reconstruction and fossil slices are housed in Oxford University Museum of natural history. There many things to be discovered about Sollasina, the species of ancient 430 million-year-old sea cucumber.

About Staff Reporter 252 Articles
Huey Freeman, who has recently been serving as executive editor of Arizona Daily Independent, previously worked as a reporter for daily newspapers in Central Illinois. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and has been an adjunct professor at Millikin University and Eastern Illinois University. An author of two published books, he is working on two books on the southern border. Huey is married, with four adult children.

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