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Re: The most important fossil discovery in 2004 (your opinions?)

I don't think it's bad preservation that's the issue here - rather, it's
difficulty of interpretation of something that is distinctly short of modern
homologues. The fossils themselves are quite remarkable - especially
considering that in life the animals were probably rather soft baggy blobs.
    For my money (what it's worth), I find it more convincing that the
'posterior cone' is the anus. The structure in the tail is probably a noto-
or stomochord or some other stiffening structure. That such a structure is
ancestral for deuterostomes is indicated by its presence in hemichordates,
the living sister group to echinoderms. If the tail structure is a gut, I
fail to see what the posterior cone could be.


        Christopher Taylor

On 3/1/05 10:00 am, "David Marjanovic" <david.marjanovic@gmx.at> wrote:

>> My own nomination - the discovery that really had me jumping up and down
>> when it appeared - was the announcement of the Vetulocystidae from the
>> Chinese Cambrian:
> Oh yes, those are quite impressive animals. But I find their bad
> preservation excruciating. Is the "posterior cone" the anus? Or does the gut
> continue all the way through the "tail"? In the former case, what is the
> "gut" in the "tail" -- perhaps even a notochord??? And the anterior cone...
> <struck down by migraine>
> Sorry that I supported the suggestion of *Dilong*, BTW. I instinctively
> assumed that the most important dinosaur discovery of 2004 was meant.