March 9, 2022
by Tom Fletcher, The Conversation
In an ancient shallow bay of what is now Montana, the body of an octopus-like creature the size of a fist was buried on the seafloor. Some 325–328 million years later, a new paper published in Nature Communications provides some interesting insights into this mysterious and ancient cephalopod.
Syllipsimopodi bideni is small (about 12cm in length), has ten arms, suckers, fins, and a triangular pen of hard tissue inside its body for support. It's a unique find because "squishy" animals tend to degrade quickly after death and therefore rarely make good fossils.