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HomeOff the CuffPaleontologists classify mysterious ancient cone-shaped sea creatures

Paleontologists classify mysterious ancient cone-shaped sea creatures

One branch on the tree of life is heavier as a team of scientists has determined what a bizarre group of extinct cone-shaped animals actually are. Known as hyoliths, these marine creatures evolved over 530 million years ago and are among the first known to have external skeletons. Long believed to be molluscs, a new study shows a stronger relationship to brachiopods — a group with a rich fossil record though few species living today.

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