In the cocoon of ancient leech found unusual creature

11/12/2012

 

Once upon a time, about 200 million years ago, an ancient bloodsucker has made a viscous and sticky cocoon, which accidentally came across a strange creature with a teardrop-shaped springy tail, where it was stored until very recently, scientists have not found it.


Cocoon itself is similar to those that are building conventional, modern leech us. But inside was like creature peritrichous ciliates Vorticella. His body resembles the shape of a bell size of about 25 microns (about the width of a human hair).

To it is connected tightly coiled stalk about twice as long. This stalk the animal apparently once was attached to solid surfaces, and his leg is constantly declining, then straightened as a telephone cord, then twisting into a tight spring.

This animal lived in the late Triassic Period, when the Earth was much warmer and the growing range of tropical rainforest. At that time, Antarctica was still a part of the supercontinent Gondwana.

It is amazing how soft-bodied creature could so well preserved. Scientists suggest that the mucus isolated leech during the construction of the cocoon immediately "buried" unknown entity immediately after the cocoon has been exposed to water or lying in wet fallen leaves.

Our mysterious animal that attaches to it with its long stem, fast cutting, was trapped in a sticky substance, and finally faded completely into the shell, which is required for hardening from a few hours to several days.

The only comparable in importance discovery — a cocoon, with enclosed within the nematode, aged about 125 million years old, was discovered in Svalbard (Norway).

See also: Found a real mammoth, Secrets of the Pyramids.

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