Paleontologists Discover New Primitive Sea Creature

Cassie Boss

A new fossilized, cigar-shaped creature that lived about 520 million years ago has been unearthed in Morocco according to Live Science.

Andrew Smith, a paleontologist at the Natural History Museum in London and co-author of the study on this new creature, stated that the new creature, dubbed Helicocystis moroccoensis, has "characteristics that place it as the most primitive echinoderm that has fivefold symmetry."

Smith is referring to a group of animals that includes starfish and sea urchins, according to Live Science.

The article continues on to say that modern echinoderms typically have five-point symmetry, such as the five arms of the starfish or the sand dollar's distinctive pattern.

According to the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the primitive sea creature could even change its body shape from slender to stumpy.

Smith stated, “Researchers say it is a transitional animal that could help explain how early echinoderms evolved their unique body plans.”

This interesting little creature (pictured below) is only one of a few different species that have been discovered this year.

Back in February, a new species of fish was discovered in six mile Helicocystis moroccoensis discovered by paleontologistdeep water off the coast of New Zealand.

The new species of eelpout was discovered during a seven day exploration of one of the deepest areas of the Pacific Ocean.

The new species of eelpout was discovered by The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, University of Aberdeen’s Oceanlab, and Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

More recently, in April, a new porcupine forest species was discovered in Brazil.

The new species of porcupine was named Coendou speratus had been discovered in Brazil’s highly endangered northeast Atlantic rainforest.

With all the news of climate change and how it’s going to negatively impact the world and it’s many species, these new species are a sight for soar eyes.

And even though this latest discovery is of a prehistoric creature, it’s still a cool find!

[Images by Andrew Smith via Live Science]