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)
Protulophila, New Zealand, Extinct