Filling a half-century research vacuum: Utah’s ancient sea worm is finally seeded

The mysterious ocean worm that has plagued scientists for half a century has finally been named new. Together with scanning electron microscopes, energy dispersion X-ray spectrometers, and optical microscopes, Anna Whitaker’s team finally named Utahscolex Ratcliffei the sea worm found in the Spence shale region of Utah.

Filling a half-century research vacuum: Utah's ancient sea worm is finally seeded

Study drawings

Anna Whitaker said in a statement: “Some people may be spitting out why we care so much about this, but what has sustained our scientific research effort stoain to this day is the rigorous classification of these species.” Based on long-term studies of biodiversity, we must know as accurately as possible how many species and how interlinked they are”.

Previously, primitive marine worms frustrated many palaeontologists. In 1969, for example, researchers obtained only one other, less preserved part of the worm fossil.

Half a century after being forgotten, Anna Whitaker’s research team is still determined to stick to this. The new findings confirm that the marine worm fossil sits not at paleontology, but rather represents a new genus of sea worms called the Utah worm.

Anna Whitaker added: “We only got one specimen from local shale before the new species was named. However, by analyzing the new specimen, we find that it does not have the characteristics not found by the original standard. Based on this, we have updated our description of this creature and considered it not suitable for the application of the old species attribution.”

In addition, the mouth-to-mouth part of the Utah worm is closely related to the Priapulid marine worms that exist in today’s oceans, and more gruesome details can be found.

For example, they have a long nose that can be turned over, can turn themselves in, and the foreign minister is full of thorns. This is how the worm captures and ingests food, which is very similar to the modern Priplitt worm.

Although this description may sound like a scary mutant worm movie, you and I don’t have to panic because they lived in the early Cambrian period, about 540 to 525 million years ago.

Details of the study, published in the recently published issue of The Journal of PalZ, include Paul Jamison, a science teacher at the University of Utah, Julien Kimmig, a researcher at the University of Kansas’ Institute for Biological Diversity, and James, a researcher at the University of Missouri. Schiffbauer.

Originally published as Re-description of the Spence shale palaeos colecids in light of the new morphological features on Palaeos colecid taxonomy and taphonomy.