STATES CHRONICLE – Scientists revealed that the Tully monster, a strange sea creature, did not have a backbone. About fifty years ago, researchers announced a 300-million-year old fossil in central Illinois. Last year, scientists developed a new study which was published in Nature magazine, claiming that this species officially called Tullimonstrum gregarium is a vertebrate which was discovered to be related to the lamprey, having a primitive backbone.
Now, a recent study published in Science Daily indicated that paleobiologists argue that this is not the case. This week, in the Paleontology magazine, researchers noted that the survey from last year was not accurate. They claim that the Tully monster was not at all a fish. Its eyes placed on the stalks appear to be simple structures which do not have lenses. Moreover, it lacks in many other structures which are characteristics of all aquatic vertebrates.
Lauren Sallan argues that it is more likely that other theories could be plausible, like the ones claiming that this sea creature cold is a mollusk or an arthropod. If scientists are to establish to which species this animal pertains, then they should have substantial evidence which supports their claim. Miscomprehending the characteristics of a creature could lead to misunderstanding the evolution of vertebrate.
The animal has a tubular body with teeth on the end of a long trunk. The strange characteristics of the Tully monster made it unfit for a particular classification. Some scientists argued that this sea creature is a worm. Others stated that it is a snail without a shell. Some researchers believe that this could be a relative of spiders, lobsters or other such insects.
The latest study which was published in March 2016 has examined approximately 1,200 fossils of Tully monster. Scientists reported that they observed a light band which was going down the midline of this sea animal. The band was thought to be a notochord, a type of primitive backbone. What is more, the fossils which were analyzed presented some remains of internal organs.
Specialists were able to detect gill sacs, usually present in vertebrates. Nevertheless, experts had later concluded that those faint circles which resembled gill slits were not used for breathing. Moreover, the dark circle under the gills was not placed behind the pharynx, as it is the case of vertebrates.
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