Syllipsimopodi Bideni: Primordial octopus had ten arms

What is the News?

Scientists have discovered fossils of a species in Central Montana, USA. They have named it Syllipsimopodi bideni.

What is Syllipsimopodi Bideni?

Syllipsimopodi Bideni belongs to a group of species called vampyropods that includes octopuses.

The species may have lived approximately 328 million years ago during the Carboniferous period, making it the oldest known vampyropod and extending the fossil record of the group by about 82 million years.

Named After: Scientists have named the species after US President Joe Biden to commemorate the start of his presidency and because they were encouraged by his plans to address climate change and to fund scientific research.

Features: It was about 12 cm long and had a torpedo-shaped body. Its fins were large enough to perhaps function as stabilizers and to help it swim.

It is the only known vampyropod to have 10 functional arms, all with preserved suckers.

It likely used its long arms to capture prey — smaller, shelled animals, perhaps — and it’s shorter arms to confine and manipulate prey.

Significance: This discovery greatly changes the human understanding of how octopuses evolved and indicates that the earliest members of the group superficially resembled living squids.

Source: This post is based on the article Primordial octopus had ten armspublished in The Hindu on 14th Mar 2022.

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