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View Full Version : Meet the Tully Monster, one of the strangest Organisms ever



uzn
21st February 2017, 20:24
The Tully Monster (Tullimonstrum gregarium) was discovered by an Amateur Collector named Francis Tully some 60 Years ago. There have been Thousends of them found fosilised, but only in the United States in Illinois in the Mazon Creek. These Fellows are just about 40 centimeters big.
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/67/Tullimonstrum_NT_small.jpg
The funny thing is that mainstream scientists are fighthing over this creature up to this day, because it does not fit any category. The only thing they can agree on is that is neither a fish nor a vertebrate. It does not fit in any box nor does it fit in the evolutionary theory ;). The closest relative would be a Pokemon.
http://cdn1.spiegel.de/images/image-1109648-galleryV9-ktzm-1109648.jpg
If there are any Darwinians here please explain this one. I am a bit lost here, is it descendend from Bacteria, Sqirrel, Ape or Elefant ?
Some Fossils of it:
http://cdn1.spiegel.de/images/image-1109650-galleryV9-galf-1109650.jpg

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/28/Tullimonstrum_gregarium_343.JPG

Here a scientific Research that came to the conclusion that anything scientists believed about the Tully Monster until now is wrong, named:
The ‘Tully Monster’ is not a vertebrate: characters, convergence and taphonomy in Palaeozoic problematic animals
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/pala.12282/full

another mainstream source:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tullimonstrum

Dennis Leahy
21st February 2017, 23:10
This fossil is the "holy grail" among fossil specimen collectors, from this locality. This locality was the confluence of a shallow sea bay, a freshwater river, and the land, including the silty deposits from the river. Ferns, spiders, insects, seeds, cones, and other plants and animals from land are found here as fossils, but the truly amazing fossils are those of extremely soft-bodied marine creatures. If you have ever seen a dead jellyfish on a beach, and then saw the same jellyfish at the end of a single day, you'd know that it would be a million-to-one lucky occurrence for jellyfish to be preserved as detailed fossils. The "Mazon Creek Formation" is that million-to-one.

Besides the ironstone concretions you can find in Mazon Creek itself, there are hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of small rocks piled up - rocks that were dug up to get to a coal deposit decades ago. These rocks are basically "petrified mud", and each one has a central core of something organic - a shrimp, a jellyfish, a fish, a fern leaf, a seed pod, a small piece of wood... Collectors who noticed that they often found the ironstone concretions already split in half realized it was the freeze/thaw cycle, and most collectors then started freezing and thawing their concretions rather than smacking them with a chisel and hammer.

I have walked Mazon Creek and was extremely lucky to be taken into the nuclear power plant (Braidwood) grounds to go fossil hunting. I never did find a tully monster, but probably have some poorly-preserved pieces of tully's in some of the nondescript fossils that I found there. That first photo of a specimen in uzn's first post is probably the "type specimen" - the best one ever found and upon which the species description is based.

Another reminder of how little we know of the "alien"-looking creatures that have called the Earth home.

uzn
21st February 2017, 23:18
Thanks Dennis Leahy, I saw that you mentioned it in another Thread already. Just wanted to show this amazing Creature.