Tuesday, April 21, 2009

BONC#5: Is that Frankenstein? And what’s with the hat and the teeth?

Let’s say you’re a paleontologist. You’re checking out some 500-million-year old rocks when you find some fossil parts of a truly weird sea creature. Then you check out fossil collections in museums all around the world. And hey, wait a minute! Bits and pieces of your weird creature have been found before, but they were mistaken for other things, like jellyfish and plants. Now you paste all these fossil parts together like Frankenstien, and ta-daah, you have Hurdia!

Hurdia looked like Anomalocaris, one of our strange friends from the Giant Evolution Timeline. They both had long bodies made of flappy layered “wings” covered with gills. They also had weird “arms” like two hooks coming off the sides of their mouths. Oh, and of course they both had eyes sticking out on stalks.

But Hurdia is even weirder, people.

First there’s the mouth situation. Anomalocaris’ mouth was weird enough. It was a circle with the opening in the middle, like a donut that could open and close its hole. The donut hole was ringed with sharp teeth. But Hurdia’s mouth had five circles of teeth, like five toothy donuts stacked on top of each other to make a whole tunnel of sharp teeth. Yikes.

Even stranger, Hurdia had this huge hat sticking out from the front of its head, like a lobster whose shell slipped over the top of its head while the rest of its body went around naked. Hurdia’s hat isn’t covering or protecting anything, just hanging out there. What the heck was it for? Nobody knows. Care to post a guess?

Read more about Hurdia here.

No comments:

Post a Comment