You’ve listened of a sea cucumber, though how about a sea mushroom? This week, scientists described a mushroom-shaped sea quadruped that might be in a organisation all a own.
Two class of a newly described animal were found along a bottom of a sea as low as 3,200 feet underneath a surface. One is about 10 mm in length, a other is 17 mm; both are somewhat smaller than a symbol mushroom.
The Danish investigate organisation that described a animal named it Dendrogamma, though in a paper published in PLOS One, they acknowledge that they are carrying difficulty determining accurately how to specify it. It has facilities identical to animals in a organisation Ctenophora (the brush jellies and their relatives) and Cnidaria (sea anemones, corals, and jellyfish), though it doesn’t fit orderly into possibly category.
“This is a executive conundrum,” pronounced Jean Just of a University of Copenhagen, co-author of a paper. “They are during a bottom of a Tree of Life together with Cnidaria and Ctenophora, though they miss a defining characteristics of those dual vital Phylae.”
A tighten demeanour during Dendrogamma reveals a remarkably elementary quadruped with a singular opening during a bottom of a “stem” where food goes in and rubbish comes out. In a “cap” of a animal, this gastrovascular tube branches into a array of canals.
Animals in a Cnidaria organisation have tentacles, clarity organs, and radiating canals, nothing of that a Dendrogamma has. Animals in a Ctenophora organisation have small-hair like facilities called cilia that assistance them pierce by a water, though Dendrogamma does not.
The authors note that in a examination routine it was suggested that Dendrogamma could paint a new, non-bilaterian organisation in a dominion Animalia. “While we might agree, we refrain from manufacture such a high-level taxon for a time being given new element is indispensable to solve many impending superb questions,” they write in a paper.
Intriguingly, they do have similarities to an archaic organisation of Precambrian organisation of animals famous as Ediacara, that also have dichotomously branching canals in a disc. However, these animals were suspicion to be a “failed experiment.”
Whether these dual animals are associated or their similarities simply paint a together response to a same environmental conditions is not clear.
The researchers had a sum of 18 specimens of Dendrogamma to work with when they wrote a study. They were collected in 1986 on a Australian continental slope nearby Tasmania as partial of a investigate cruise.
Unfortunately, these specimens were not ideally preserved. They were incidentally kept in pristine ethanol rather than 80% ethanol, that resulted in them timorous and roughly totally drying out. They are also unsuited for molecular analysis.
“It is of march really unsatisfactory to us, though that’s life!” Just said.
If new specimens are found, a researchers would wish to learn some-more about how these animals live in their healthy environment, and to investigate their molecular an anatomical construction to see either they have haughtiness endings or flesh cells.
But, that might take awhile. In a 28 years given they were discovered, no additional Dendrogammas have been found.
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