kayshapero: deep sea squid resembling Mentor of Arisia. (Fascinating)
Now that looks interesting....

Ancient, scary and alien-looking specimen forms a rarity in the insect world—a new order
January 25, 2017 by David Stauth


Ancient insect in amber.

This strange insect found preserved in amber represents a new species, genus, family and order of insects. Credit: George Poinar, courtesy of Oregon State University

Researchers at Oregon State University have discovered a 100-million-year-old insect preserved in amber with a triangular head, almost-alien and "E.T.-like" appearance and features so unusual that it has been placed in its own scientific "order" - an incredibly rare event.

There are about 1 million described species of insects, and millions more still to be discovered, but every species of insect on Earth has been placed in only 31 existing orders. Now there's one more.

The findings have been published in the journal Cretaceous Research and describe this small, wingless female insect that probably lived in fissures in the bark of trees, looking for mites, worms or fungi to feed on while dinosaurs lumbered nearby. It was tiny, but scary looking.

(more)
kayshapero: (CalicoCat)
Just to prove life is full of surprises, even life you thought you knew about pretty well...

Lichens aren't quite what we thought, shocked scientists discover

New yeasts found to be secret partners with known fungi and algae

By Emily Chung, CBC News Posted: Jul 21, 2016 2:35 PM ET Last Updated: Jul 22, 2016 8:42 AM ET

Most people know lichens, such as this wolf lichen, as those flaky, light green things that grow on tree bark. You probably learned in school that they're a mutually beneficial partnership or "symbiosis" between fungi and algae, but many lichens have now been found to include a third partner, a yeast.

Most people know lichens as those flaky, light green things that grow on tree bark, and learned in school that they're a mutually beneficial partnership or "symbiosis" between fungi and algae.

But lichen scientists have made the shocking new discovery that many lichens are also made up of a previously undiscovered third partner — a new kind of yeast.

Not only does that potentially alter the fundamental definition of what a lichen is, but it "should change expectations about the diversity and ubiquity" of the organisms that form them, says a new study published Thursday in Science.  (more)



See also the Christian Science Monitor article here.
kayshapero: (CalicoCat)
Further discoveries seem to have revealed which end was which... And like you might expect Hallucigenia is even weirder. :)



Face of bizarre sea creature Hallucigenia revealed
By Rebecca Morelle
Science Correspondent, BBC News

25 June 2015
From the section Science & Environment

Scientists finally have a complete picture of what one of nature's most bizarre animals looked like.

The tiny sea creature - Hallucigenia - lived 500 million years ago, but all fossils appeared to be without heads.

New specimens unearthed in Canada have revealed the missing part, revealing its strange face for the first time.

Dr Martin Smith, from the University of Cambridge, said: "It looks completely surreal. It is like something from another world."


(more)

There are a lot of photos of fossils as well as other artist reconstructions (like the above) in the article itself, along with a link to the Nature article (which I'm also linking here Just Because).

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