Biologists have described a microscopic invertebrate that lived 30 million years ago and combined the features of animals and ticks.
Paleontologists examined the remains of a miniature of an ancient animal preserved in a fragment of amber, reports the online edition of the Chronicle.info with reference to naked-science.ru.
Found in the Dominican Republic sample dated to about 30 million years — middle Paleogene. And locked in this tiny creature was a representative of the previously unknown families of invertebrates — “moldy pig”, which scientists report in an article published in the journal Invertebrate Biology.
Under the microscope the animal actually resembles a pig, as is suggested by its official name — Sialomorpha dominicana: from the Greek for “similar to a fat pig”. George Poinar (George Poinar) and Diane Nelson (Diane Nelson) note that and diet it was right there in amber preserved fungi and smaller invertebrates that feed this “Plesneva pig”, digging in the warm and moist dirt.
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According to scientists, S. dominicana was a length of about 100 µm, and had a movable, located on the neck of the head and four pairs of limbs. Rigid exoskeleton demanded regular molting for growth. The animals combined the separate characteristics typical of animals and quite distant from them mites, but it does not belong to any of these groups. Apparently, they have no modern descendants, and yet animals are the only representatives of taxa with uncertain position on the phylogenetic “tree of life”.