In news– Recently, Paleontologists have named a 328-million-year-old fossil (vampyropod) after the US President, Joe Biden.
About the Syllipsimopodi bideni-
- The 4.7-inch (12-centimeter) fossil possesses a gladius and ten robust arms, bearing biserial rows of suckers.
- It probably lived in a shallow, tropical ocean bay.
- Paleontologists named it Syllipsimopodi bideni, where Syllipsimopodi is derived from the Greek word “syllípsimos” for “prehensile” and “pódi” for “foot”.
- The name was chosen because this is the oldest known cephalopod to develop suckers, allowing the arms, which are modifications of the molluscan foot, to better grasp prey and other objects.
- The specimen was discovered in Montana’s Bear Gulch limestone formation and donated to the Royal Ontario Museum in Canada in 1988.
- It is the only known vampyropod to retain the ancestral ten-arm condition.
- Vampyropods have soft bodies, they do not typically make good fossils.
- Paleontologists confirmed that the study reveals a new development in the evolution of octopuses that are believed to have eight arms.
- They have determined that the specimen is a completely new genus and species that dates to about 328 million years old—making it the oldest known vampyropod (till date, the “oldest known definitive” vampyropod was from around 240 million years ago).
- As per the scientists, the well-preserved fossil also “shows some evidence of an ink sac,” probably used to squirt out a dark liquid cloak to help to evade predators, just like modern octopuses.
- The creature, a vampyropod, was likely the ancestor of both modern octopuses and vampire squid, a confusingly named marine critter that’s much closer to an octopus than a squid.