"A new species of 'super-armoured' worm, a bizarre, spike-covered creature which ate by filtering nutrients out of seawater with its feather-like front legs, has been identified by palaeontologists. The creature, which lived about half a billion years ago, was one of the first animals on Earth to develop armour to protect itself from predators and to use such a specialised mode of feeding.
The creature, belonging to a poorly understood group of early animals, is also a prime example of the broad variety of form and function seen in the early evolutionary history of a modern group of animals that, today, are rather homogenous. The results, from researchers at the University of Cambridge and Yunnan University in China, are published today (29 June) in the journal PNAS.
The creature has been named Collinsium ciliosum, or Hairy Collins' Monster, named for the palaeontologist Desmond Collins, who discovered and first illustrated a similar Canadian fossil in the 1980s. The newly-identified species lived in what is now China during the Cambrian explosion, a period of rapid evolutionary development around half a billion years ago, when most major animal groups first appear in the fossil record."
Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-06-spiky-monsters-species-super-armored-worm.html#jCp
The study: A superarmored lobopodian from the Cambrian of China and early disparity in the evolution of Onychophora, PNAS, http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2015/06/24/1505596112
Image: Collinsium ciliosum, a Collins' monster-type lobopodian from the early Cambrian Xiaoshiba biota of China. Credit: Javier Ortega-Hernández
Lyrics draw on Lewis Carroll, William Blake, Plato, Emily Dickinson, T.S. Eliot, and more.
Part interactive field guide, part map, a new app compiles millions of records on species ranges worldwide. By pinpointing your location, the Map of Life app lets you explore plants and critters you might see nearby. Or tap around the globe to see what might be blooming in Singapore, for example. Click on a species name to reveal its range map (one shown below), as well as crowdsourced pictures.
A team led by Walter Jetz of Yale University and Robert Guralnick of the Florida Museum of Natural History spent two years creating the Map of Life app, which is free for iPhones and Android. “The story of biodiversity is a visual one,” Guralnick says. Citizen scientists can help tell that story by reporting species sightings.
The Map of Life team plans to add a way to access records even without cellphone service. That could come in handy if you’re trying to figure out if that backcountry berry is edible.
Get it: https://auth.mol.org/mobile
Jeff Ritter, Make The Turn Performance, Poppy Hills, CA
Skins Game - Why golfers are ditching their shirts. Max Adler, Golf Digest July 2015, p. 103
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