When researchers discover fossils of species that are new to science, it is natural that they are trying to find a place for them in the colossal tree of life, which will coincide with related species that may exist today. The newly discovered types of an ancient creature push that practice to an absolute limit.
Small fossils discovered in Colombia and the United States reveal the existence of a pin-up sea animal, which lived about 90 million years ago. It is called cancer, but researchers who have discovered it quickly show how dramatically it differs from any other known types of cancers.
The species is so strange, in fact, its discoverers offer salutation to their bizarre nature in the name itself. The small cancer is named Callichimaera perplexa and, according to his name, his discovery is rather confusing to scientists.
With rounded swim legs like blades and a pair of massive, obvious eyes that direct their blurred face, it was built like no other cancer in the fossil record. It is unique not only for the strange characteristics that can be praised, but also for the usual features of cancer that they completely lack.
"Callichimaera perplexa is so unique and weird that it can be considered a bird in the cancer world, "said Haier Luke of Yale, who led the research." It hints at how the Roma forms develop and become so diverse over time. Usually we mean crabs like big animals with broad caprices, strong claws, small eyes in long eyeglasses and a small tail tucked under the body. So, Callichimaera opposes all these features of "crabby" and encourages re-thinking of our definition of what makes cancer cancer. "
It's a fantastic discovery that reminds us that no matter how the different life of today's Earth appears, the history of our planet is full of more bizarre evolutionary viluses than we can imagine.