The fossil remains of a strange prehistoric cigar-shaped creature have been discovered in Morocco.
Known as Helicocystis moroccoensis, the species was a primitive echinoderm, the same group of animals to which sea urchins and starfish belong. It is believed to be the first however to exhibit five-fold symmetry such as that seen in the arms of a starfish or the patterns on a sand dollar and was even capable of changing its body shape.
Fossils of the species were discovered in 2012 by palaeontologist Andrew Smith and colleagues while excavating in sediments from the Moroccan Anti-Atlas Mountains. Dating back 520 million years, the creatures would have lived on the giant prehistoric super-continent known as Gondwana.
"H. moroccoensis, named after the country where it was found, had a cylindrical body that extended up to 1."
View: Full article | Source: Discovery News
Discuss: View comments (6)