Archaeologists have discovered something as valuable as the Roman Pompeii.
When the freakish Hallucigenia was first discovered in the 1970s, paleontologists found it nearly impossible to distinguish heads from tail. Now, the bizarre creature – an ancestor to molding animals like crabs, worms or krill – had its features identified with unprecedented precision, but that doesn’t mean it’s less freakish looking: worm-like with a mouth adorned with a ring of teeth, bearing seven pairs of legs ending in claws, and three pairs of tentacles along its neck. To finish it off, its back was covered with enormous spikes. Yes, it looks weird, but so were most animals that lived 500 million years ago during the so-called Cambrian explosion – a period of massive bloom in terms of diversity of life and evolution. Most creatures of those times were somewhat primitive, but remarkably Hallucigenia was quite advanced for its age.
Researchers from Cambridge have, for the first time, captured a 3D video of a living algal embryo turning itself inside out: from a sphere into a mushroom and into a sphere again. The results could help us better understand the process of gastrulation in animal embryos — which biologist Lewis Wolpert called “the most important event in your life.”
We talk a lot about science and research, but we don’t spend enough time talking about the people who actually do the research. In case you haven’t followed our previous feature, here is where we share some of the most interesting studies from the week, and share a bit of information about the scientists who made them. One third of
It looks like a painting from Salvador Dali – but Hallucigenia was very much real. Truly one of the most surreal creatures to ever walk the face of the planet, it was finally deciphered and understood (at least partially) by paleontologists, after 4 decades of study. The process discovered not only its position in the tree of life, but also