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It may look like a mushroom—but it's not

Just J, Kristensen RM, Olesen J, PLOS ONE 9, 9 (2014)

It may look like a mushroom—but it's not

Sometimes the weirdest life forms come in familiar shapes. Such is the case for two new animals introduced to the world today, as reported by BBC. Though they look like mushrooms, these aliens don’t fit in with any known creatures. Their round disks with a central stalk are reminiscent of jellyfish or comb jellies and their relatives, but the newly named Dendrogramma lack other traits that would make them kin to either of those groups. Instead they look most like soft-bodied organisms that disappeared about 600 million years ago and were thought to be evolutionary dead ends. They were collected in 1986 at 400 and 1000 meters deep on the ocean floor off Tasmania and only now are described in PLOS ONE.

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