Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Ancient fossil flea-like creature: Rare body parts find provides vital clues to identity

Date:
March 31, 2010
Source:
University of Leicester
Summary:
Researchers have uncovered an ancient water flea-like creature from 425 million years ago -- only the third of its kind ever to be discovered in ancient rocks.

The fossil, illustrated without the shell and showing the soft-parts, including limbs and eyes.
Credit: David J. Siveter, Derek E. G. Briggs, Derek J. Siveter and Mark D. Sutton

A geologist from the University of Leicester is part of a team that has uncovered an ancient water flea-like creature from 425 million years ago -- only the third of its kind ever to be discovered in ancient rocks.

Related Articles


Professor David Siveter, of the Department of Geology at the University of Leicester worked with Professor Derek Siveter at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, Professor Derek Briggs at Yale University USA and Dr Mark Sutton at Imperial College to make the rare discovery.

The specimen, which was found in rocks in Herefordshire, represents a new species of ostracod, and has been named Nasunaris flata. Like water-fleas and shrimps, ostracods belong to the group of animals called Crustacea. The find is important because the fossil has been found with its soft parts preserved inside the shell.

Today its descendents are common, and inhabit ponds, rivers and lakes and many parts of the seas and oceans, having first appeared on Earth about 500 million years ago.

Geologists find ostracods useful in order to help recreate past environments- the type of ostracod found in a rock sample would, for example, help to determine a picture of ancient conditions like water depth and salinity.

The study is published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. and in Planet Earth, the online journal of the Natural Environment Research Council.

Professor David Siveter: "Most fossil ostracod species are known only from their shells. You need exceptional conditions to preserve the soft body- there are only two other known examples of ancient fossil ostracods where the complete soft parts of the animal are preserved along with the shell."

Professor Siveter and colleagues were able to identify the 5mm-long fossil, its body and appendages inside the shell, including the antennae and also a set of paired eyes.

The ostracod was so well preserved that the team managed to spot the Bellonci organ, a sensory structure observed in modern species which protrudes out of the middle eye located at the front of the head. 'This is the first time the Bellonci organ is observed in fossil ostracods,' says David Siveter.

Had the soft body parts not been preserved, the scientists were likely to misidentify the fossil based on the shell record alone, claims Professor Siveter.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Leicester. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. David J. Siveter, Derek E. G. Briggs, Derek J. Siveter and Mark D. Sutton. An exceptionally preserved myodocopid ostracod from the Silurian of Herefordshire, UK. Proceedings of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences, 2010; DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2009.2122

Cite This Page:

University of Leicester. "Ancient fossil flea-like creature: Rare body parts find provides vital clues to identity." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100322131421.htm>.
University of Leicester. (2010, March 31). Ancient fossil flea-like creature: Rare body parts find provides vital clues to identity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100322131421.htm
University of Leicester. "Ancient fossil flea-like creature: Rare body parts find provides vital clues to identity." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100322131421.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Fossils & Ruins News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) A multinational group of scientists have released the first ever detailed, high-resolution 3-D maps of Antarctic sea ice. Using an underwater robot equipped with sonar, the researchers mapped the underside of a massive area of sea ice to gauge the impact of climate change. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ruins Thought To Be Port Actually Buried Greek City

Ruins Thought To Be Port Actually Buried Greek City

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) Media is calling it an "underwater Pompeii." Researchers have found ruins off the coast of Delos. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amphipolis Tomb Architraves Reveal Faces

Amphipolis Tomb Architraves Reveal Faces

AFP (Nov. 22, 2014) Faces in an area of mosaics is the latest find by archaeologists at a recently discovered tomb dating back to fourth century BC and the time of Alexander the Great in Greece. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
US Returns Looted Artifacts to Thailand

US Returns Looted Artifacts to Thailand

AFP (Nov. 19, 2014) The United States has returns over 500 vases, bowls, axes, and other ancient artifacts mostly from the Ban Chiang archaeological site which were illegally looted from Thailand decades ago. Duration: 01:13 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins