News of the WeekPaleontology

New Fossil May Change Idea of First Mollusk

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Science  23 Mar 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5512, pp. 2292-2293
DOI: 10.1126/science.291.5512.2292

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Some 425 million years ago, a heavily armored, wormlike mollusk died on the deep sea floor and was buried in volcanic ash. Now, using a novel technique, a team of paleontologists has created a virtual reconstruction of its perfectly preserved shape. The fossil has a strange mix of traits that, although not conclusive, supports a controversial idea about the identity of the earliest mollusks.