425 mn years old shrimp-like creatures discovered

Last Updated: Wed, Dec 12, 2012 12:40 hrs

London, Dec 12 (IANS) Fossilised remains of tiny shrimp-like creatures that are 425 million years old have been discovered in Britain, the Daily Mail reported Wednesday.

The two "special" fossils unearthed in Herefordshire include not only the animals' shells but also their soft parts including body, limbs, eyes, gills and guts.

Luckily for the scientists who found them, the ostracods were preserved by a fall of volcanic ash at a time when Britain had a subtropical climate.

Professor David Siveter, from the University of Leicester, said: "The two ostracod specimens discovered represent a genus and species new to science, named Pauline avibella."

"The genus is named in honour of a special person and avibella means 'beautiful bird', so-named because of the fancied resemblance of a prominent feature of the shell to the wing of a bird," the Mail quoted him as saying.

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