In the world of Cthulhu, the dark and chaotic ancient gods are the rulers of the universe, with thousands of appearances, the most important feature of which is the tentacles that are as large as geometric orders.
The evolution of paleontology is recorded in ocean fossils
Scientists recently discovered a new marine fossil, based on which the appearance of this ancient species was reconstructed, allowing us to see the real Cthulhu paleontology. Yes, it also has a wealth of tentacles: 45.
The location of the fossil discovery is in Herefordshire, England. The Welsh-England border rock formations there are famous for their preservation of a large number of marine invertebrate fossils, including corals, brachiopods, trilobites, daggers, and layer foraminifers.
More than 400 million years ago, the rock formations here were located at a medium depth (2000m) under the sea, where it was once a paradise for echinoderms (such as sea urchins, starfish, sea cucumbers, crinoids). Scientists believe that when the disaster strikes, fine-grained volcanic ash mixed with carbonate mud quickly covered the seabed, buried the animals on the seabed alive, and preserved their soft tissue structure intact.
Scientists studying these fossil materials can not only understand the ancient environment and palaeogeography, but also understand the evolutionary process of paleontology, such as how they undergo physical changes.
Hundreds of tiny fossil pictures are just to restore marine paleontology
Generally speaking, the information that fossils can store is very limited. Therefore, in many cases, the ancient creatures restored based on the scientific evidence that have been discovered may not be true, because there is no soft tissue and only limited restoration can be done through bones and muscles.
The 3 cm wide fossil found in the UK preserves unique and subtle features that allow scientists to create a digital representation of this ancient species.
In order to create a three-dimensional model of this tentacle creature, the research team combined computer reconstruction technology and imaging technology commonly used in medical research to reconstruct.
First, they cut open the ancient egg-shaped volcanic ash shell, which is a relatively easy step. It is impressive after opening, and the fossils inside are intact.
Then, in order to see the appearance of the paleontology before death and restore the composition of the soft tissue, the researchers first reconstructed hundreds of its subtle feature maps.
It can be seen from these fine feature maps that the surface of the fossil is rough. In order to show more details, the research team carefully polished the fossil with sandpaper, each time the thickness is about three hundredths of a millimeter. The details captured by each polishing are equivalent to a small slice, which is then photographed at each stage, using this method to restore the size and shape of the internal features of the fossil. The reconstructed image is called a virtual fossil image. This arduous restoration process is time-consuming, laborious and boring, but it is the only way to study the internal characteristics of fossils.
The research team listed its unique characteristics based on these fossils and compared them with those found in other fossils and existing fossils of the same genus. In the end, the figures restored the appearance of this ancient creature before his death, with tentacles all over his body, a total of 45 pieces.
Of course, because it looks too much like the image of an ancient god in Robert M. Price’s “H.P. Lovecraft and the Myth of Cthulhu”, the researchers named the newly discovered species: “K Sulu Sea Cucumber”.
“Cthulhu Ancient God” is actually a sea cucumber?
How to classify Cthulhu? Through further research, scientists discovered that this organism also has an inner ring structure. Then, by comparing the characteristics of marine invertebrates on the evolutionary tree, the scientists determined the classification of the new species and determined its evolutionary timeline. The location ultimately determined that this creature was a distant relative of modern sea cucumbers, living in the Silurian period.
It turns out that the ancient god Cthulhu is an edible sea cucumber!
What is the significance of discovering the “Cthulhu Ancient God”?
This has to start with echinoderms. Take sea cucumbers as an example. Although it is super ugly, its survival history is amazingly long. It appeared earlier than primitive fish, more than 600 million years ago. The Precambrian began to appear, and it is known as the living fossil of the ocean.
Sea cucumber bone slices are the endoskeleton located in the surface layer of the sea cucumber dermis. It is an important classification feature of sea cucumbers. However, how it possesses such endoskeleton is still unknown, because there are no branches on the evolutionary tree, and the reason for not being is simple. , But no related fossils can be found. Therefore, there is insufficient evidence to determine the evolutionary relationship between sea cucumber species from the perspective of morphology.
Some scientists speculate that the type of sea cucumber bone slices change from simple to complex is an evolutionary process, while some scientists hold the opposite view and believe that the evolution of bone slices is a process from complex to simple.
Thanks to the discovery of the fossil of this creature, scientists can see that there are also large bone fragments in the fossil, which shows that the endoskeleton of sea cucumber is a kind of degradation, and it is likely to degenerate into tiny in hundreds of millions of years. The bone fragments, and scientists also confirmed that the small retractable tentacles of sea cucumbers, that is, the tube feet, were originally very long. It is speculated that the tentacles of this creature are used to crawl, and can also capture food on the bottom of the sea.