Ich bin ein Recherchefreak. Nicht nur, weil ich es mag, wie meine Geschichten von selber zu fließen beginnen, wenn der Hintergrund stimmt und vermeintliche Stolpersteine sich durch gründliche Nachforschung von selbst auflösen. Auch weil die Wirklichkeit so faszinierend ist und so bezaubernde Fragen aufwerfen kann. Schaut hier:
A recently described fossil from the Silurian Herefordshire Lagerstätte in the United Kingdom has called much attention.
A photo of the fossil itself. Image by Briggs et al., extracted from news.nationalgeographic.com
The appearance of the creature was build by scanning the rock and creating a 3D reconstruction of the fossil. It revealed that the animal, obviously and arthropod, had several smaller creatures attached by long threads, like kites. The species was named Aquilonifer spinosus, meaning „spiny kite-bearer“.
A 3D reconstruction of what Aquilonifer and its kites would have looked like. Image by Briggs et al. extracted from sci-news.com
The authors (Briggs et al., 2016) thought about three possibilities to explain the unusual „kites“. They could be parasites, phoronts (i.e., hitchhikers), or babies. The idea of parasites was discarded because such long threads separating them from the host would have made it difficult to feed properly. They…
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