Fossils of strange creatures appear in chalk on many continents, on the body of which there are unusual ball-shaped structures not seen in any animal on earth.
A joint study between the University of Cambridge, the University of Essex (UK), the University of Western Australia and the Tokyo Institute of Technology (Japan) has just been published in the scientific journal Palateontology has revealed portraits of 2 strange creatures that lived in the middle of the golden age of dinosaurs – the end of the Cretaceous period. the body carries a form of alien-like structure, like balls.
Exceptionally solid ball structures appear on the bodies of foreign organisms – (photo provided by the research team).
The “monsters” are identified as 2 ancient crinoids, quite beautiful creatures of the ocean, also known as sea lilies or feathered stars. They belong to a group of invertebrates characteristic of the high seas, echinoderms. This group includes starfish, sea urchins, sea cucumbers…
Ancient individuals of the sea lily family have appeared on earth since the Cambrian period (from 541 million years to 485 million years ago), increasingly crowded and spread throughout the earth.
According to Dr Aaron Hunter from the University of Western Australia’s School of Earth Sciences and the University of Cambridge’s Department of Earth Sciences, one of the lead authors, the ocean of antiquity was a very dangerous place, with an unfavorable environment and full of predators. Ball-shaped structures appeared with the aim of protecting the animal from the hostile ocean.
One of 2 strange fossils found in chalk – (photo provided by the team).
Structurally like fullerene complexes of carbon molecules rarely present in some minerals, this structure is extremely solid, able to withstand great pressure. It also has the characteristics of floating chambers, making the creature carrying it stronger and more flexible like a submarine.
According to the authors, this is the first time they have found a fossilized form of living organism containing such a strange body structure. The 2 strange creatures, named Marsupites testudinarius and Uintacrinus socialis, are both about 80 million years old. Their relatives appear in chalk in many places, especially the US and Australia.