The Tully Monster. Is it our cousin or not? – #365papers – 2017 – 53

#365papers for February 22, 2017

Sallan, Giles, Sansom, Clarke, Johanson, Sansom, and Janvier, 2017, The ‘Tully Monster’ is not a vertebrate: Characters, convergence and taphonomy in Palaeozoic problematic animals: Palaeontology, p. 1-9.

What’s it about?

Tully Monsters have always been a bit of a mystery as they lack the important hard parts that are most often diagnostic for fossil species. Recently, there has been lots of discussion about vertebrate affinities for the Tully Monster. This paper provides evidence that the interpretation of vertebrate features might be in error.

Why does it matter?

Interpretation of fossilized soft body parts in the rock record is challenging. This paper points out where mistakes might be made and what the implications of those mistakes might be.

Why did I read this?

There are places around here where Tully Monsters can be found. So it’s of local interest.

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