Ten-tentacled ancient vampire squid named after Joe Biden

(ORDO NEWS) — Octopuses (and squids along with them) are known for having eight limbs. However, one of the oldest relatives of the group they belong to has distinguished itself by a number of anomalous features.

The creature, named Syllipsimopodi bideni in honor of the current president of the United States, lived on Earth during the Carboniferous period – about 328 million years ago.

The squid was small and could fit entirely in the palm of an adult man. It is the oldest known member of the vampyropods, a group that includes octopuses and vampire squids (Vampyroteuthis infernalis).

However, some scientists, however, disagree with this assessment of the creature, pointing out that parts of the fossil are difficult to interpret and that the specimen may belong to another previously known species that was described in the late 1980s.

A vampyropod fossil was discovered in Fergus County, Montana and donated to the Royal Ontario Museum in Canada in 1988.

But it remained unexplored until recently, when scientists conducted a detailed analysis and declared that it was a representative of a new species. The 10 limbs of the squid have suckers, making them the oldest specimen of this organ among cephalopods.

Ten tentacled ancient vampire squid named after Joe Biden 2

In some cephalopods, including some species of squid and cuttlefish, ten appendages can be found today – eight small ones (the so-called “hands”) and two longer tentacles. Despite the outward resemblance, their relationship with octopuses is very distant – therefore, the presence of ten limbs in a common ancestor raised many questions.

Not a squid or even a vampire

Vampire squids are actually neither squids nor vampires, but got their name because of the webbing between the tentacles, similar to the cloak of the imposing bloodsucker from the classics.

It is believed that the two long, thread-like appendages of modern squid are vestigial arms that octopuses have completely lost during evolution.

“However, all previously documented fossil vampyropods that retained appendages have only eight arms, so this fossil may be the first evidence for the idea that all cephalopods originally possessed ten arms,” the scientists write in their statement.

Christopher Whalen and Neil Landman, study authors, named the creature “Syllipsimopodi” from the Greek words for “grasping” and “leg”.

It received this part of the name thanks to the first suction cups known to science – they allow you to firmly hold the prey. The specific name is given in honor of President Biden. “The whole point is that we submitted the article just a few weeks after his inauguration,


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