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Fossil of Ancient Marine Animal Reveals Softer Side

A Yale scientist and colleagues in Britain have found a highly unusual ancient marine fossil that retains soft body parts as well as its shell, including limbs, eyes, gills and alimentary system. The fossil represents a new species of ostracod, a tiny crustacean related to crabs, lobsters and shrimps.

“Fossil ostracods often provide evidence of the relative ages of the rocks in which they occur, but it is very difficult to determine their relationship to living forms because only the shell is normally preserved,” said Derek E. G. Briggs, director of Yale’s Peabody Museum of Natural History and a co-author of the research. “This 425-million-year-old new form is remarkable in preserving the limbs and other anatomical features as well.” (more…)

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