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Extinct marine animal found very much alive


Posted on Wednesday, 18 June, 2014 | Comment icon 11 comments

What other 'extinct' species could still be alive ? Image Credit: CC 1.0 Parent Gery
An ancient organism believed to have died out 4 million years ago has been found near New Zealand.
Originally discovered in marine deposits in Europe and the Middle East, Protulophila is a predatory organism similar to coral and sea anemones that was first identified back in 1901 by Italian biologist G. Rovereto.

The first indications that the species may not have actually gone extinct were discovered by Dr Paul Taylor and his colleagues at the Natural History Museum in London who found the fossilized remains of the organism in tube worm fossils dating back 1 million years.

To find out if Protulophila had actually managed to survive until the present day the team then looked at recently collected samples of tube worms from the sea around New Zealand where they were surprised to find samples of the organism in worms collected in 2008.

"Finding living Protulophila is a rare example of how knowledge of fossils has led to the discovery of living biodiversity," said discovery co-author Dr Dennis Gordon.

Source: Sci News | Comments (11)

Tags: Protulophila, New Zealand, Extinct


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #2 Posted by maximusnow on 18 June, 2014, 12:04
We have a vast Ocean to explore.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Junior Chubb on 18 June, 2014, 12:31
Another one for the marine cryptid fans to cling to...
Comment icon #4 Posted by paperdyer on 18 June, 2014, 12:40
So what does it prey upon?
Comment icon #5 Posted by Sundew on 18 June, 2014, 12:46
I know it's difficult to compare a small organism to something like...oh I don't know....a plesiosaur or a megalodon. Unlikely to still be alive but you never know we have only explored 5% of the ocean We still find unknown plants and animals every year, but large ones are uncommon, because, well, they are large and likely would be noticed already. The ocean does make a better hiding place, having been out at sea for days and not seeing more than the occasional flying fish, it's amazing how much "empty" ocean there is and how far and wide the life is scattered.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Uncle Sam on 18 June, 2014, 14:59
Most of these fossil species are like in remote areas or deep under the ocean, I doubt that felt the effects of the fallout from extinction events due to they live in their own environment cut off from the rest.
Comment icon #7 Posted by DieChecker on 18 June, 2014, 15:28
Sounds like some excellent detective work by these biologists.
Comment icon #8 Posted by alfonso on 18 June, 2014, 15:40
some-ones not been doing there job ...
Comment icon #9 Posted by mesuma on 18 June, 2014, 23:14
I like how quite a lot people have replaced religion with science nowadays yet fail to see that science is only "fact" until it's proven wrong. Just because there is no proof of a number of things doesn't mean that they don't exist. I'm not trying to attach this case to UFOs or Ghosts etc but just the fact that science can sometimes be blind faith is just as weird as religion. I'm not religious or spiritual in any way, I just think with these forums there is a lot of argument between both and they can both be equally inaccurate.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Silent Trinity on 19 June, 2014, 9:15
It is clear I think, mysteries await us in the depths of our oceans, as they do in the expanse of the universe. Always fascinating to watch the seas part and see the wonders beneath the waves we never knew were there...
Comment icon #11 Posted by the.truth.is.out.there.x on 19 June, 2014, 15:04
We need to explore more in the ocean; there is only a small percent of the ocean we know about, and if you look at the diverse organisms there, we can only begin to imagine what else lies beyond the surface.


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