Wednesday, February 21

Newly discovered octopus-squid relative named after President Biden


Researchers have identified what they consider the oldest octopus ancestor – it lived more than 320 million years ago – and they named it after President Joe Biden.

The fossilized remains of the Syllipsimopodi bideni were found in a specimen discovered in Montana and donated to the Royal Ontario Museum in 1988. Researchers at the American Museum of Natural History identified the remains as the oldest relative of the family of vampyropods, which includes the octopus and vampire squid.

The discovery, published Tuesday in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Communicationspushes back the fossil record of this group by nearly 81.9 million years, to more than 328 million years ago, into the Paleozoic Era.

What’s also unusual about the fossil is that it is the only vampyropod specimen with 10 arms, as opposed to the eight found on modern-day squids and octopuses.


www.usatoday.com

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