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September 14, 2011
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Dickinsonia by NTamura Dickinsonia by NTamura
Dickinsonia costata from the Ediacaran fauna of Australia. Nobody is quite sure what this was, a jellyfish, a worm, a chordate ancestor, a mushroom, a lichen, a placozoan? Hypotheses abound...

Dedicated to fellow paleoartist :iconavancna:
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:iconcharanty:
oh dear, for a while i thought that it's real.
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:iconsickchickjay:
I don't care what it is but I definitely want one as a pet! X-D
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:iconntamura:
It would make quite a boring pet if you ask me... ;)
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:iconpristichampsus:
Pristichampsus Sep 15, 2011  Professional General Artist
That's bullshit, saying they dont know what it is. The people who matter think it is a worm, and by that I mean, the people who work with the actual fossils.
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:iconpristichampsus:
Pristichampsus Sep 15, 2011  Professional General Artist
A personal friend of mine was put in charge of reconstructing Dickinsonia for the South Australian Museum, he considered it "a worm, before they learned to dig".

Basically, the South Australian Museum is where most of the boffins on the Ediacaran fossils are, which, rather conveniently, I visit often, living in South Australia. I would consider Dickinsonia a proto-worm, or an early bilaterian, but the segmentation clinches it as a worm.
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:iconntamura:
The problem with the worm interpretation is that like for Spriggina, the symmetry is not quite bilateral. The segments in one side are shifted by half with respect to the other side. Such a pseudo-bilateral symmetry is unknown in any living animal.
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:iconpristichampsus:
Pristichampsus Sep 20, 2011  Professional General Artist
I contacted my friend. He tells me that the consensus at the museum is, that the skewed segmentation is a taphonomic effect, from the body of the animal being "squished" at a slight angle, not from directly above. The museum has some rare specimens of Dickinsonia that have no skewed symmetry, which are perfectly preserved, which shows the true nature of the animal's segmentation. Because of this, they consider the segmentation to be bilateral, and the Dickinsonia to be a primitive worm.

You need to remember, this information is coming from the people who work with the ACTUAL fosils, wereas most other workers do so from photos, or the rather limited sample of russian white sea material.

Because of the scientific establishment's obsession with the "Cambrian Explosion", some of the South Australian Museum's discoveries have been refuted unfairly as misinterpretations. These are namely the discovery of Ediacaran-age trilobites, and the discovery of the protochordate. Both of these discoveries were hard to swallow, but true nonetheless, and have not been accepted.
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:iconntamura:
Thanks for coming back to me. This is really interesting. Did you friend has some publications that I can consult?
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