128mn-yr-old grandfather of modern squid and octopus discovered
London, June 3 (ANI): Scientists have re-created the appearance of a previously unknown fossil - a spiky creature thought to be the ultimate ancestor of the modern-day squid and octopus - discovered last year.
The Austria National History Museum team used 3D scanning technology to unearth the fossil of 'Dissimilites intermedius' a layer at a time, and then created a video of how the creature lived and moved.
The ammonite was discovered in sediment, which formed at the bottom of the ocean during the Cretaceous period - on a surface that 128 million years later would lie at the top of the Dolomite mountains in the Alps.
The scientists said that the computer tomography had allowed them to see far more than they would ever have been able to with the naked eye, with the creature was exposed a layer at a time.
The team, led by Alexander Lukeneder from the geological/palaeontology section, also discovered the body was covered with spines each between three and 4mm long.
"The fossil is of a previously unknown creature which is a type of Ammonite," the Daily Mail quoted a museum spokesman as saying.
"Computer tomography and a complicated 3D reconstruction programme were used to help reconstruct not only the appearance of the fossil found in the Dolomites a year earlier, but also to work out how it moved by the position of the impressions left by its limbs," the spokesman added.
The video of the swimming creature seen now for the first time in 128million years is on display at the Natural History Museum together with photos of the 13cm-long creature.
Details of study have been published in the specialist magazine 'Acta Palaeontologica Polonica'. (ANI)
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