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12 December 2013 1:00 pm ,
Vol. 342 ,
The iconic 125-year-old Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton near San Jose, California, is facing the threat of closure...
Recent results from the Curiosity Mars rover have helped scientists formulate a plan for the next phase of its mission...
A new, remarkably powerful drug that cripples the hepatitis C virus (HCV) came to market last week, but it sells for $...
In pretoothbrush populations, gumlines would often be marred by a thick, visible crust of calcium phosphate, food...
Evolutionary biologists have long studied how the Mexican tetra, a drab fish that lives in rivers and creeks but has...
Victorian astronomers spent countless hours laboriously charting the positions of stars in the sky. Such sky mapping,...
In an ambitious project to study 1000 years of sickness and health, researchers are excavating the graveyard of the now...
Stefan Behnisch has won awards for designing science labs and other buildings that are smart, sustainable, and...
- 12 December 2013 1:00 pm , Vol. 342 , #6164
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ScienceShot: Return of the Drakozoon!
5 August 2010 11:52 am
With its gooey exterior and roving tentacles, Drakozoon kalumon looks (and sounds) like it came out of a sci-fi movie. But this bloblike ocean dweller was actually one of Earth's earliest animals. Thanks to a 3D reconstruction created by slicing the rare fossil into 200 pieces and scanning them through a computer, scientists believe the 400-million-year-old creature sported a leathery exterior and a protective hood, which it probably used to hide its tentacles when predators were nearby. Drakozoon also had a segmented body, the researchers report online this week in Biology Letters, suggesting that the earliest animals were made of repeating units, like the present-day earthworm. This critter was only a little thicker than your thumbnail, however, so Hollywood may want to look elsewhere for its next movie monster.
See more ScienceShots.