Strange old animal – level 3

25-07-2023 15:00

Scientists have finally pieced together fossils of an animal, which was discovered more than half a century ago.

They put the fossils in an electron microscope, initially hoping to find eyes, but they were astonished to find teeth smiling back at them. The animal is known as Hallucigenia and had a worm-like formation. It was about 5 centimetres long, had seven pairs of legs ending in claws, and long spines sprouting from its back.

Its mouth was encased in teeth, which also lined its throat, and may have been able to flex in and out as the animal pulled in food.

The creature is distantly related to modern-day insects and died in mud 508 million years ago.

Difficult words: astonish (surprise or amaze) claw (a nail), sprout (to grow), encased (enclosed), flex (to move), creature (an animal).

You can watch the video news lower on this page.

What is thought to have been the purpose of the long spines sprouting from Hallucigenia's back?


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