Travel 'Alien' brittle fish has barbed arms, eight sets of razor-sharp teeth

00:15  19 june  2021
00:15  19 june  2021 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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It also had eight sets of ferocious teeth , suitable for snatching prey 1,000 feet beneath the surface. DNA analysis suggests Ophiojura exbodi branched off from its nearest relative in the early Jurassic period. Distantly related to the starfish, it's remained evolutionarily untouched for some 180 million years. Experts say its almost unheard of for brittle stars to have eight arms . Even more daunting than its appendages, though, are its teeth —eight rows of razor - sharp chompers. They believe Ophiojura, hidden away on an underwater mountain, has remained essentially unchanged for 180

Razor - sharp teeth inside a squid's tentacle suckers could be used to replace plastics and make clothes that repair themselves. Squid ring teeth of squid are circular and found on tentacle's suction cups. They create proteins which can take on a wide range of molecular arrangements. 'We reviewed the current knowledge on squid ring teeth -based materials, which are an excellent alternative to plastics because they are eco-friendly and environmentally sustainable.' The elasticity, flexibility and strength of the squid ring teeth materials comes from the range of ways its molecules can arrange themselves.

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Marine biologists have discovered a spine-chilling new species of brittle star deep in the South Pacific.

The creature, dubbed Ophiojura exbodi, has eight four-inch appendages, each covered in rows of sharp spines.

Experts say its almost unheard of for brittle stars to have eight arms.

Even more daunting than its appendages, though, are its teeth—eight rows of razor-sharp chompers.

They believe Ophiojura, hidden away on an underwater mountain, has remained essentially unchanged for 180 million years, since the early Jurassic period.

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Scientists from the French Natural History Museum first discovered this otherworldly specimen in 2011, more than 1,600 feet below surface on the summit of Banc Durand, an underwater mountain in the South Pacific over 120 miles east of New Caledonia.

Like their distant relatives the starfish, brittle stars use their radiating arms to deftly crawl across the sea floor.

But this creature was more menacing than Spongebob's pal, Patrick Star,  with eight four-inch appendages barbed with long rows of hooks and spines.

A CT indicated those weren't the creature's only defense: those 'arms' meet in the center, where its mouth houses a 'nest' of sharp teeth lining eight sets of jaws.

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In a report published this week in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Tim O'Hara, a senior curator at Museums Victoria in Australia, posited Ophiojura exbodi isn't just a new species of brittle star, it's a new genus and a new family from the phylum Echinodermata.

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While the alien -like fish seemed like out of this world, Ms Hokin said that no one would ever be willing to hold the fish with bare hands. “It has really sharp teeth , it could bite, no worries, you would not be willing to put your finger near it,” Ms Hokin added. Fish identification expert Morgan Grant That also explained why the fish has a set of razor - sharp teeth . “Because when they find lunch, they don’t want to let it go!” he added. The fish mostly spend their time staying under the mud and avoid coming to the surface. However, expert from the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT), Dr

Thalattoarchon had a massive skull and jaws armed with large teeth with cutting edges used to seize and slice through other marine reptiles in the Triassic seas. Because it was a meta-predator - capable of feeding on animals with bodies similar in size to its own - Thalattoarchon was comparable to modern orca A jaw full of five-inch, knife-edged teeth let this newly unearthed ichthyosaur tear into prey. The species swam in what is now Nevada. Tooth crown of Thalattoarchon as seen in the field. The shape of the crown with its two cutting edges indicates that this ichthyosaur was a meat eater, not a fish eater.

He theorizes the scary chompers are used to snatch and rip apart its prey—but he was particularly intrigued by its eight arms.

'Brittle stars always have five, a few have six, and the very odd one has more than 10,' O'Hara told The New York Times. 'To suddenly have eight arms? That was special.'

To confirm if this was a new species, O'Hara sent a piece of its arm to his colleague Ben Thuy, a paleontologist at the National Museum of Natural History in Luxembourg.

After treating the specimen to remove its flesh, and coating it in gold to maximize its conductivity, Thuy ran the arm under a scanning electron microscope, according to the Times.

The analysis revealed the star's arm plates, which link together in a chain to form its skeleton, 'each had a pair of holes, a nerve hole and a muscle attachment hole.'

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The porous passageway, O'Hara joked, looked oddly similar to a pig's nose.

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Research suggests ancient whales had teeth similar to those of a modern lion or dingo. Findings raise questions about how this group of whales developed baleen, the fibrous filter system they use to feed — enabling them to become the largest animals on Earth. The findings feed into the puzzle about how modern Mysticeti whales, which include blue, humpback and right whales, came to evolve bristle-like One enduring hypothesis has been that early whales, living about 25 million years ago, had intricate, rounded teeth that formed a sieve for scooping up prey, a method used by some living Antarctic seals.

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'Pig snout articulations,' he told the Times. 'That was our internal joke name, but it's quite descriptive.'

Thuy couldn't find a specimen with a similar porcine structure until he happened to glance at a poster on his office wall of some early Jurassic microfossils discovered in northern France.

'It looked exactly the same,' Thuy said.

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That would make Ophiojura exbodi a 'relic' species, one that hasn't evolved for millions of years.

DNA evidence suggests that Ophiojura branched off from its nearest relative 180 million years ago, some time in the early Jurassic or Triassic era.

[It represents] a totally unique and previously undescribed type of animal,' O'Hara wrote in The Conversation. 'It is one of a kind. The last species of an ancient lineage, like the Coelacanth fish (Coelacanthiformes) or the Tuatara (Sphenodon),'

With only a single dead specimen, though, Thuy and O'Hara are left with more questions than answers, including what it looked like when alive.

Its home in the underwater mountains, or seamounts, of the South Pacific are a hotbed of undiscovered marine line and 'living fossils,' one to two thousand feet underwater.

'Currents swirl around them, bringing nutrients from the depths or trapping plankton from above, which feeds the growth of spectacular fan corals, sea whips, and glass sponges, O'Hara wrote in The Conversation. 'These in turn host numerous other deep-sea animals.'

O'Hara's team is launching another expedition in July to explore seamounts in the Indian Ocean, but they don't know when they'll get back to New Caledonia.

'This could be the last time we find this animal,' Mah said.

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