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Old 02-22-2017, 02:39 AM   #1
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Default Mystery deepens as scientists struggle to classify extinct 'Tully Monster' creature

Quote:
Mystery fossil. Tully the spineless monster? Experts say the creature had no backbone.

The Tully monster, a bizarre beast that plied the seas 307 million years ago, has long mystified scientists. Its features, including eyes like a hammerhead's and a pincer-like mouth, look like they belong on Dr. Seuss creatures, and have made it difficult for scientists to classify it. But last year, two different scientific groups did just that, independently announcing that the ancient animal was likely a marine vertebrate.

However, those two groups got it wrong, according to a new paper published online Monday (Feb. 20) in the journal Paleontology.
Rather, the Tully monster (Tullimonstrum gregarium) was likely an invertebrate — a spineless beast, researchers said in the new study. [Photos: Ancient Tully Monster's Identity Revealed]

"This animal doesn't fit easy classification because it's so weird," study lead researcher Lauren Sallan, an assistant professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Science at the University of Pennsylvania, said in a statement. "It has these eyes that are on stalks, and it has this pincer at the end of a long proboscis, and there's even disagreement about which way is up. But the last thing that the Tully monster could be is a fish."

Mysterious Monstrosity

The sea monster has mystified scientists for nearly 60 years. Amateur fossil collector Francis Tully discovered the first specimen in Illinois in 1958, and scientists have found thousands more since then. The species attracted so much public interest that it became the state fossil of Illinois, and murals of the creature still decorate the sides of U-Haul trucks.

However, no one could clearly define the monster: Some called it a worm; others classified it as a shell-less snail. And there was even a push to call it an arthropod, a group that includes lobsters, spiders and insects, Sallan said.

In the first study of the creature, published in March 2016 in the journal Nature, researchers looked at more than 1,200 Tully monster fossils. They reported seeing a light band going down the creature's midline. This band was likely a notochord, a type of primitive backbone, they said. Moreover, the fossils had remains of internal organs, such as gill sacs, that were characteristic of vertebrates, and teeth that looked like those of a lamprey, a jawless fish, they said. [Image Gallery: Ancient Monsters of the Sea]

However, these descriptions are off base, Sallan and her colleagues said. The faint circles that are interpreted as gill slits sit on septa (thin walls or cavities) rather than gill tissues or pouches, suggesting that they weren't involved in breathing, Sallan and her colleagues wrote in the study. In addition, "a dark circle under the 'gills' was interpreted as the liver, despite the liver's universal placement in vertebrates' posterior to [behind] the pharynx," the researchers wrote in the study.

"In the marine rocks, you just see soft tissues; you don't see much internal structure preserved," Sallan said.

Tullimonstrum_NT_small.jpgTullimonstrum Fossil.JPGTully.png

http://www.livescience.com/57945-anc...-backbone.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tullimonstrum
Wasn't too long ago, the news broke that scientists had solved the mystery. But it appears many paleontologists are reversing and challenging the first conclusion. It remains a mystery as to what species the Tully Monster belong to or how to classify it.

The below link goes into greater detail, for any paleo nerds. This link i believe is the primary source.
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/pala.12282/full
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Old 02-22-2017, 09:27 AM   #2
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Strange. went to the link you posted. Wiley site said page not found.
So did a search on the site and found it at the page link you listed.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/1...ala.12282/full

Interesting read
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Old 02-22-2017, 02:23 PM   #3
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I wish they would give dimensions.
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Old 02-22-2017, 03:23 PM   #4
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Old 02-22-2017, 03:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seanjo View Post
I wish they would give dimensions.
Tullimonstrum probably reached lengths of up to 35 centimetres (14 in); the smallest individuals are about 8 cm (3.1 in) long.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tullimonstrum
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Old 02-22-2017, 07:37 PM   #6
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Its just an ancestor of the squid, who gives a shit.
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Old 02-22-2017, 07:39 PM   #7
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Lets spend millions of dollars so some fucking nerd can label and classify a fucking fossil.
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Old 02-22-2017, 08:06 PM   #8
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Old 02-24-2017, 02:03 AM   #9
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Old 02-28-2017, 04:00 AM   #10
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