According to a paper published in the British journal Nature, scientists have discovered the fossils of the famous prehistoric paleontological monster hallucigenia and provided the latest details about its head. Eerie insect is a kind of enigmatic insect that lived 508 million years ago. Its head shape has not been known. However, the new discovery not only makes the grotesque insects “show their faces” and further confirms the functions of various parts of their bodies, but also provides new clues for the evolutionary characteristics of arthropods.
Arthropod is the largest category in the animal kingdom, including the familiar Crustacea (such as shrimp and crab), Arachnida (such as spider and scorpion), Insecta (such as butterfly and fly), etc., and grotesque insects belong to the animal group of arthropod ancestors. When the eerie was first discovered, paleontologists couldn’t even tell the parts of the strange animal’s body. To this day, many parts of the weirdo have been recorded. However, for a long time, there has been no relevant discovery of its head features, which makes the appearance of the eerie insect mysterious.
The new fossil materials shown in this study were excavated from the Burgess Shale in Canada. The authors, Martin Smith and Jean Bernard of the University of Cambridge, UK, have re described the species. It has been confirmed that the monster has a tubular body with several pairs of legs and two rows of long thorns on its back. From the fossil point of view, the grotesque insect’s neck is very thin, the head is very small, is long. The researchers also found that the eerie has a pair of monocular (rather than compound) eyes and a mouth with a plate covering the foregut and ring teeth. The mouth of a weirdo is the same as that of other groups of animals, such as nematodes and kissing animals. The researchers’ analysis also shows that the mouth of the eerie is very similar to the common ancestor of the arthropod.
Molecular biological analysis has classified arthropods, nematodes and other organisms into the general phylum of molting animals, but before that, there was no morphological evidence to support this classification. Now the new discovery provides fossil based evidence that depicts some of the structures of the last common ancestor of molting animals, helping to “bring” disparate groups of animals together.