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This lovely fossil is Daihua sanqiong, an unusual animal that shares characteristics with our modern comb jelly.
The specimen was found in mudstones south of Kunming in the Yunnan Province of southern China by co-author of the study, Professor Hou Xianguang.
This isn’t the first biological discovery found in this particular region.
It was named the Daihua Sanqiong after the Dai tribe in Yunnan and “hua” which means “flower” in Mandarin in honor of its flower-like shape.
I met the colorful Dai several times while in Kunming in 2018. They are beautiful people with a rich cultural history. It pleases me that this specimen will be named for them.
The animal’s 18 tentacles are all fine and feather-like, with rows of large cilia adorning the exterior.
University of Bristol research team recently discovered a series of startling fossils in China. The recent discovery of these fossils has shed new light on dozens of species, many of them previously a mystery to the scientific community.
Among these finds was a 518-million-year-old fossilized sea creature with 18 tentacles near its mouth pictured in the photo below.
Dubbed the Daihua sanqiong, the animal shared numerous anatomical features with the modern comb jelly, suggesting that it might be a distant relative.