Ancient creature turned out to be like a taco

(ORDO NEWS) — Since its discovery over 100 years ago, Tuzoia, an arthropod that swam near the seafloor 541 to 485 million years ago, has baffled paleontologists.

Now a new look at its fossils reveals details about this enigmatic creature and its surprising resemblance to tacos, a new study says.

Despite hundreds of recorded specimens around the world, soft tissues, including eyes, numerous legs, tail fans, and the carapace (the hard upper shell that gave the creatures the taco-like appearance), are poorly preserved, giving only partial clues to the appearance of arthropods.

The researchers found 11 arthropods showing good soft tissue preservation. Specimens have been found at various paleontological sites across Canada.

“Finding soft tissues in fossils is not easy,” said Izquierdo Lopez, one of the authors of the work. “The carapace doesn’t look like a hard clam shell, so it’s rare to find it intact.”

Researchers believe that Tuzoia was a predator or scavenger that fed on the remains of dead small creatures that “littered” the seabed.

The arthropod was likely able to arch its shell outward as it moved, allowing its legs to touch and move across the ground, the study says.


Contact us: [email protected]

Our Standards, Terms of Use: Standard Terms And Conditions.