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Still Waters

The mysterious ‘Tully Monster’ fossil

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Still Waters

Every now and again, scientists discover fossils that are so bizarre they defy classification, their body plans unlike any other living animals or plants. Tullimonstrum (also known as the Tully Monster), a 300m-year-old fossil discovered in the Mazon Creek fossil beds in Illinois, US, is one such creature.

At first glance, Tully looks superficially slug-like. But where you would expect its mouth to be, the creature has a long thin appendage ending in what looks like a pair of grasping claws. Then there are its eyes, which protrude outward from its body on stalks.

https://phys.org/news/2019-11-mysterious-tully-monster-fossil.html

https://theconversation.com/the-mysterious-tully-monster-fossil-just-got-more-mysterious-126531

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freetoroam

We are still discovery strange life beneath our seas,  it is a whole differebt world down there which surpass our imaginations of alien.

fangtooth-fish-is-displayed-at-the-natur

deep4.jpg

c6964a69656a58ff607d66b9236b00b5--weird-

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Tatetopa

This one has always been one of my favorites along with the Burgess Shell assemblage. It is the state fossil of Illinois. My state's fossil is the metasequoia which is cool, but not in the league with Tullimonstrum.
I have thought that a big version of this, a water breathing invertebrate with some sort of a proboscis was a better candidate for a lake monster than a plesiosaur.
Course this thing is small.
For all of you paleo-knowledgeable out there, could this be an immature or larval stage of something more conventional?

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Carnoferox
5 hours ago, Tatetopa said:

This one has always been one of my favorites along with the Burgess Shell assemblage. It is the state fossil of Illinois. My state's fossil is the metasequoia which is cool, but not in the league with Tullimonstrum.
I have thought that a big version of this, a water breathing invertebrate with some sort of a proboscis was a better candidate for a lake monster than a plesiosaur.
Course this thing is small.
For all of you paleo-knowledgeable out there, could this be an immature or larval stage of something more conventional?

It doesn't seem likely that it is a larval stage of something else. There are no other animals in the Mazon Creek assemblage that match the morphology of Tullimonstrum and could plausibly represent an adult stage.

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Tatetopa
1 hour ago, Carnoferox said:

It doesn't seem likely that it is a larval stage of something else. There are no other animals in the Mazon Creek assemblage that match the morphology of Tullimonstrum and could plausibly represent an adult stage.

Thanks Carnoferox.  Any fossil record of descendants or did that peculiar morphology just die out?  Appreciate it.  

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Carnoferox
41 minutes ago, Tatetopa said:

Thanks Carnoferox.  Any fossil record of descendants or did that peculiar morphology just die out?  Appreciate it.  

Some researchers have suggested it is related to modern hagfishes and lampreys (Cyclostomata), but I don't find this convincing. Tullimonstrum completely lacks the mineralized mouthparts found in cyclostomes. It seems to me that it was a unique animal with no living descendants and no close relatives yet known from fossils.

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Mattacaster

At first (and second and 12th) look I thought someone had hammered 2 nails into its sides. Then I read that they were eyes. And it looks like a submarine with 5 portholes in it's side.

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woopypooky

The ancestors of modern day snails. They figured they needed a hard shell and they looked smarter without the beak.

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Carnoferox
2 hours ago, woopypooky said:

The ancestors of modern day snails. They figured they needed a hard shell and they looked smarter without the beak.

Tullimonstrum is probably not a gastropod or any other type of mollusc. Like cyclostomes, molluscs also have mineralized mouthparts not found in Tullimonstrum.

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