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Octopus fossil named after US President Joe Biden

According to the researchers, this ancient creature turned out to be millions of years earlier than they previously estimated. So that means the octopus existed before the dinosaurs.

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Modern octopus

The 12cm long fossil has 10 limbs, while the octopuses now have only 8 and each limb has two rows of suckers. It probably lived in a tropical bay.

“Finding soft tissue fossils is a very rare thing,” Mike Vecchione, zoologist at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. “This is a very interesting finding. It pushes back the origin of this species much further than previously known.”.

The specimen was discovered in a limestone formation in the Bear Gulch Limestone Range in Montana and was donated to the Royal Ontario Museum in Canada in 1988.

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330 million year old octopus fossil

For decades, fossils were neglected while paleontologists studied shark fossils and other finds from the site. But then they discovered 10 small limbs of octopus encased in limestone.

The well-preserved fossil also “shows some evidence of a pocket of ink,” which may have been used for spraying, said Christopher Whalen, paleontologist and collaborator at the American Museum of Natural History. dark liquid to evade predators, like modern octopuses. Whalen is also the author of the study, which was published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications.

This creature could be the ancestor of both the modern octopus and the vampire squid, a marine creature confusingly named because it resembles an octopus more than a squid. Previously, the “oldest known” vampire squid was from about 240 million years ago, the study’s authors said.

House’s science decided to name the fossil Syllipsimopodi bideni, after US President Joe Biden. The scientists said they wanted to pay tribute to the President’s scientific and research priorities.

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