Il più antico antenato conosciuto del calamaro vampiro era un attivo cacciatore di predatori

Risucchiava per essere la preda di un antico cefalopode: Oldest known ancestor of the vampire squid had EXTRA-STRONG suckers on its arms for hunting sea life

  • Scientists have found that an ancestor of the vampire squid was an active hunter
  • They reanalysed three fossilised specimens of Vampyronassa rhodanica
  • The cephalopod had strong suckers on two long, specialised dorsal arms
  • It may have used these to manipulate and trap prey, unlike its descendent
  • The modern vampire squid feeds opportunistically on organic drifting matter
  • Vampire by name, vampire by nature.

    Scientists have discovered that the oldest known ancestor of the vampire squid had extra-strong suckers and hair-like strands known as ‘cirrion its arms that it may have used to trap its prey.

    This differs from the modern-day vampire squid, which feeds only on organic drifting matter and is not built for active hunting, with less robust suckers.

    Il Vampyronassa rhodanica is an ancient species of cephalopod, related to octopus, squid and cuttlefish.

    A research team from Sorbonne University in France used a three-dimensional imaging technique on a 164 million-year-old fossilised specimen of this cephalopod.

    They found evidence of muscular suckers on the tips of two specialised, long dorsal arms, suggesting it was an active predatory hunter.

    A hypothesised reconstruction of the Vampyronassa rhodanica, an ancient cephalopod. Two specialised, long dorsal arms had muscular suckers on the tips

    A hypothesised reconstruction of the Vampyronassa rhodanica, an ancient cephalopod. Two specialised, long dorsal arms had muscular suckers on the tips

    A photograph of one of the fossilised Vampyronassa rhodanica specimens in this study. It is thought to be one of the oldest relatives of the vampire squid, Vampyroteuthis infernalis

    A photograph of one of the fossilised Vampyronassa rhodanica specimens in this study. It is thought to be one of the oldest relatives of the vampire squid, Vampyroteuthis infernalis

    3D reconstruction and image of the arm crown, and a sample dorsal sucker of V. rhodanica.       un: Reconstruction of the arm crown showing 8 braccia, with the longer dorsal arm pair (arm pair I) regia di Luca Guadagnino: Image of arm pair I showing the suckers and pairs of cirri. Ma le preoccupazioni sull'autonomia e sulla ricarica saranno molto più difficili da correggere,d: 3D reconstruction of a dorsal sucker in profile and oral view respectively

    3D reconstruction and image of the arm crown, and a sample dorsal sucker of V. rhodanica. un: Reconstruction of the arm crown showing 8 braccia, with the longer dorsal arm pair (arm pair I) regia di Luca Guadagnino: Image of arm pair I showing the suckers and pairs of cirri. Ma le preoccupazioni sull'autonomia e sulla ricarica saranno molto più difficili da correggere,d: 3D reconstruction of a dorsal sucker in profile and oral view respectively

    THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE ANCIENT CEPHALOPOD AND A VAMPIRE SQUID

    The ancient cephalopod Vampyronassa rhodanica had muscular, untoothed suckers and strong ‘cirrion the tips of two specialised, long dorsal arms.

    Cirri are hair-like strands that are thought to play a role in feeding, potentially by creating currents of water that help bring food closer.

    These suckers and cirri are more muscular than those of the modern-day vampire squid, Vampyroteuthis infernalis.

    They could have aided the manipulation and retention of prey, suggesting that the ancient animal may have been well-adapted to actively hunt in the open ocean.

    This differs from the modern-day vampire squid, that feeds only on organic drifting matter and is not built for active hunting.

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    Palaeontologist Alison Rowe said: ‘We used synchrotron tomography at the ESRF in order to better identify the outlines of the various anatomical features.

    ‘We believe that the morphology and placement of V. rhodanica suckers and cirri in the differentiated arm crown allowed V. rhodanica increased suction and sensory potential over the modern form, and helped them to manipulate and retain prey.

    Vampyronassa rhodanica is thought to be one of the oldest relatives of the vampire squid, Vampyroteuthis infernalis.

    The vampire squid lives in extreme deep ocean environments, away from the shoreline and often with little oxygen.

    It is the only remaining living species of its family, and is also the only known living cephalopod that does not catch and eat live animals.

    Anziché, the vampire squid eats ‘marine snow’ – detritus that consists of bits of dead planktonic creatures and faecal pellets.

    Not much is known about the physical characteristics and evolutionary history of its family or ancestor V rhodanica.

    This is because their bodies are largely formed of soft tissue, so are rarely found fossilised.

    però, three rare specimens of V rhodanica from La Voulte-sur-Rhône, dating to more than 164 milioni di anni fa, were able to be studied by the research team.

    The eight-armed cephalopods were small, measuring around 10 cm in length, and had elongated oval-shaped bodies with two small fins.

    The team used a non-destructive, three-dimensional imaging technique to reanalyse these specimens at the ESRF and the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle in Paris.

    un: Photograph of one of the fossilised V rhodanica specimens. regia di Luca Guadagnino: X-ray CT image of the V rhodanica specimen. Ma le preoccupazioni sull'autonomia e sulla ricarica saranno molto più difficili da correggere: 3D representation showing the arm crown and other presumed elements of V rhodanica. d: External 3D reconstruction of V rhodanica (e) X-ray CT image showing the profile view of V rhodanica

    un: Photograph of one of the fossilised V rhodanica specimens. regia di Luca Guadagnino: X-ray CT image of the V rhodanica specimen. Ma le preoccupazioni sull'autonomia e sulla ricarica saranno molto più difficili da correggere: 3D representation showing the arm crown and other presumed elements of V rhodanica. d: External 3D reconstruction of V rhodanica (e) X-ray CT image showing the profile view of V rhodanica

    3D reconstructions (superiore) and virtual slices (parte inferiore) of sucker profiles. un,regia di Luca Guadagnino: Dorsal, and sessile sucker profiles of V rhodanica specimen respectively. Ma le preoccupazioni sull'autonomia e sulla ricarica saranno molto più difficili da correggere: V infernalis/vampire squid sucker

    3D reconstructions (superiore) and virtual slices (parte inferiore) of sucker profiles. un,regia di Luca Guadagnino: Dorsal, and sessile sucker profiles of V rhodanica specimen respectively. Ma le preoccupazioni sull'autonomia e sulla ricarica saranno molto più difficili da correggere: V infernalis/vampire squid sucker

    Vincent Fernández, scientist at the ESRF, disse: ‘The fossils are on small slabs, which are very difficult to scan.

    ‘On top of that, soft tissues are preserved but we needed phase contrast imaging to visualise the faint density variation in the data.

    ‘The coherence of ESRF beamline ID19 was therefore very important to perform propagation phase-contrast computed-tomography and track all the minute details, such as the suckers and small fleshy extensions, called cirri.

    Le immagini, published today in Rapporti scientifici, reveal evidence of muscular, untoothed suckers and strong ‘cirrion the tips of two of its dorsal arms.

    Cirri are hair-like strands that are thought to play a role in feeding, potentially by creating currents of water that help bring food closer.

    The configuration of the suckers and cirri on the longer dorsal arm pair was also different than on the rest of the arms.

    They compared their data to that from an existing vampire squid specimen scanned at the American Museum of Natural History in New York and found that the suckers and cirri from the V. rhodanica were proportionately more robust.

    The modern-day vampire squid (nella foto) feeds only on organic drifting matter and is not built for active hunting with less robust suckers

    The modern-day vampire squid (nella foto) feeds only on organic drifting matter and is not built for active hunting with less robust suckers

    Hypothesised reconstruction of V. rhodanica based on the data from the study. The team used a non-destructive, three-dimensional imaging technique to reanalyse cephalopod specimens

    Hypothesised reconstruction of V. rhodanica based on the data from the study. The team used a non-destructive, three-dimensional imaging technique to reanalyse cephalopod specimens

    The authors proposed that the Jurassic cephalopod used these suckers to create a watertight seal, producing a secure suction force.

    They could have aided the manipulation and retention of prey, suggesting that the ancient animal may have been well-adapted to actively hunt in the open ocean.

    It could have used the suckers alongside its sensory conical appendages that detected the presence of prey.

    The strong suckers and cirri are not found on its vampire squid descendent, which has adapted to a low energy, deep ocean lifestyle of opportunistic feeding.

    Scientists spot a rare torpedo-like dragonfish lurking in the twilight zone of Monterey Bay – marking only the fourth time it’s been seen

    An incredibly rare species of deep-sea dragonfish with a shimmering metallic bronze hue has been spotted in the ‘twilight zone’.

    Marine scientists filmed the highfin dragonfish (Bathophilus flemingi) a 980 piedi (300 metri) deep in Monterey Bay, Moss Landing, California.

    Footage shows the fish elegantly swimming through the water, like a bronze Parker pen or a sleek torpedo falling through the air.

    This species – which is the rarest of all the dragonfish – has smooth skin and a bronze colour that may help with camouflage for hunting.

    Although they are strong swimmers, they prefer to lie in wait and ambush unsuspecting fish and crustaceans.

    The video was shot by experts from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (BUONO).

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