They find a hairy snail that has been preserved in amber for millions of years

Around the world, there have been a series of discoveries that have been truly fascinating to many people. In fact, some of them have given us information about the ancient world and even about our ancestors or how were the animals years ago.

A valuable find

For some time now, researchers have been paying close attention a species of terrestrial molluscs which they found in a piece of Burmese amber from the cretaceous. Those responsible for this extraordinary study are international scientists, one of them is the Dr Adrienne Jochum de Senckenberg.

One of the most striking aspects is that the piece of amber where the land snail was It has been dated 99 million years ago.. A species like this had never been seen before, so scientists decided to name it Archaeo Cyclotus brevi villosus sp.

an unknown species

The Archaeo Cyclotus brevi villosus sp species is completely new, but its appearance is a bit strange and striking at the same time, because it has hairs on its shell. However, there are other quite similar genres and share several characteristics.

Until now, there are 6 other species that also have hairs on the carapaceall belong to a group called Cyclophoridae. They are known as tropical earth nails, most have found them embedded in remnants of very ancient amber.

The origin of the find

This impressive discovery took place in 2017, in a mine in Burmamore specifically in the Hukawng Valley. The snail measures approximately 26.5 millimeters long, 21 millimeters wide and 9 millimeters high. Its name, brevi villosus, comes from Latin and means short or small and hairy.

The snail found is just over 26.5 millimeters long, adorned with short hair-like hairs on its shell. Credit: Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum.

Land Snail Details

These snails are relatively small, and the hairs on the shell They measure approximately between 150 to 200 micro centimeters long. To the human eye, they are almost imperceptible, but scientists have been fascinated by several factors. Scholars have been able to observe this detail through conventional microscopy.

They also used the method of x-ray computed tomography X in 3D, to better see the smallest details. They mention that this genus of land molluscs may have gone through an evolutionary process that allowed them an advantage. But what kind of profit did this detail produce?

The common factor between this species of fossils

Although this factor is fascinating, it should be noted that it is relatively normal to find hairs in certain types of fossilized molluscs. In fact, some researchers have agreed that it’s not uncommon for land snails to have hairs, ridges, folds, and nodules.

However, until now, scientists they have not been able to find out how this process occurs evolution so complex They came to the conclusion that this transformation happens with a purpose, but they also don’t know what the purpose of this mutation is.

Relationship Between Some Land Snails

Some studies have indicated that the snail shell called the “protein coat” is the origin of the hairs. On the other hand, scientists have mentioned that they have been able to find other families of land snails with this same type of hair.

Other species, like Polygyridae snails and forest snails they also have shells covered with small hairs. What does it mean? He indicates that this peculiarity appears independently several times in the evolution of molluscs on Earth.

You might also be interested in: A man from 9,000 years ago shares the same DNA as an English teacher.

The most surprising thing is that some species they were not directly related, but they had that same similarity. This is why scientists were both fascinated and amazed.

What were the hairs on the body of snails used for?

According to scientists, the presence of hairs would have given molluscs a selective advantage in their evolution. Credit: Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum.

At present, the advantage that these hairs gave to the snail is unknown, but some researchers support certain hypotheses that they have raised. One of the theories supposes that this evolution occurred for improve adhesion of terrestrial molluscs to leaves and plant stems.

Another hypothesis suggests that the hairs served to protect these animals against attacks from birds or another terrestrial predator. But a lot of scientists believe that this trait favored them for sexual selection, giving them an evolutionary advantage, for others it could contribute to the thermal regulation of the snail or perhaps it has served as a kind of camouflage.

Undoubtedly a very interesting discovery that opens a window on the past of this species.

The research has been published in ScienceDirect.

References: Science Alert / Tech Explorist.

A publication of Science of mystery. All rights reserved. – Redistribution and redistribution of this content without prior permission is expressly prohibited. Site protected by Safe Creative.

Thanks for reading us. We invite you to follow us on our Facebook, to be aware of all the news that we publish daily. You can also join our community at Telegram. We are waiting for you!

Original Spanish content

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *