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‘Alien goldfish’ may have been unique mollusc


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The mystery of a bizarre creature dubbed the “alien goldfish”, which has baffled fossil experts for decades, may have been solved, according to scientists who say the animal appears to have been some sort of mollusc.

Typhloesus wellsi lived about 330m years ago and was discovered in the Bear Gulch Limestone fossil site in Montana in the late 1960s, with the remains of other species subsequently identified.

But with features including a rugby ball-shaped body up to 90mm (3.5in) in length, a fin on its back end, neither backbone nor anus, and lacking a shell, the anatomy of Typhloesus left scientists confused as to where it belonged on the tree of life.


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