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A New Invertibrate


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A New Invertibrate
« on: October 12, 2019, 10:40:19 AM »
Apparently extinct, but who knows?

"You’ve Heard of Water Bears, but How About These Ancient Mould Pigs?" | Gizmodo


An analysis of 30-million-year-old amber has resulted in the discovery of a previously unknown microscopic creature from the Cenozoic period. Bearing a resemblance to tardigrades (aka water bears), these now-extinct “mould pigs,” as they’ve been dubbed, are unlike anything seen before.

Introducing Sialomorpha dominicana, a newly discovered microinvertebrate found locked in amber from the Dominican Republic. Its discoverers, palaeobiologist George Poinar Jr. from Oregon State University and invertebrate zoologist Diane Nelson from East Tennessee State University, have dubbed the creature a “mould pig” in honour of its portly, porcine appearance and its diet, which consisted primarily of fungi. Details of the discovery were recently published in Invertebrate Biology.

The 83-year-old Poinar is no stranger to working with fossils trapped in amber. His 1982 research paper gave sci-fi author Michael Crichton the idea of extracting dinosaur DNA from insects trapped in amber, as portrayed in the film Jurassic Park. Poinar has made a career working with amber, finding fossilised flies, bees, bats, and ancient flowers.

This time around, however, Poinar, along with Nelson, discovered a creature that’s invisible to the human eye – a microinvertebrate measuring no more than 100 micrometers long.

[Continues . . .]

"Mold Pigs: Strange Creatures with Features of Mites and Tardigrades Found in Amber" | SciNews

A previously unknown family, genus and species of microinvertebrates has been found in amber from the Dominican Republic. Nicknamed ‘mold pigs,’ these tiny creatures lived some 30 million years ago (Paleogene period) and had features of both mites and tardigrades.

“There is no extant group that the mold pigs fit into, and we have no knowledge of any of their descendants living today,” said Professor George Poinar Jr., an entomologist at the Oregon State University College of Science.

“This discovery shows that unique lineages were surviving in the mid-Tertiary.”

The mold pigs were about 100 μm long and grew by molting their exoskeleton.

Scientifically named Sialomorpha dominicana, these creatures had flexible heads and four pairs of legs.

They fed mainly on fungi, supplementing that food source with small invertebrates.

“No claws are present at the end of their legs as they are with tardigrades and mites,” Professor Poinar said.

“Based on what we know about extant and extinct microinvertebrates, Sialomorpha dominicana appears to represent a new phylum.”

[Continues . . .]
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Re: A New Invertibrate
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2019, 07:37:48 PM »
Loving this little bug.
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Re: A New Invertibrate
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2019, 08:00:47 PM »
Loving this little bug.

Yeah but is it cutesy? I don't know. :notsure: Looks like a squished mutant mite.

Interesting critter, though.
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Re: A New Invertibrate
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2019, 02:20:56 AM »
More of satan's handy work.