Have you ever heard of the mysterious tallymonster? It was first talked about in the 1950s when a fossil collector named Francis Talley discovered the first remains in the fossilized formations of the Mason Creek River in central Illinois (USA). It is believed that the Monster Tully or Tullimonster, was a sea creature that lived in the muddy coastal waters of Mason Creek. However, according to a recent study published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society Proceedings B, the mysterious 300-year-old “Tally monster” may not be what his scientists thought in the past — as the research shows, Tally the monster was not vertebrate.
The mysterious story of tally monster
Tullimonstrum, also known as the Tully monster,lived 300 million years ago. however, fossils were first discovered 60 years ago. In 2016, a study was conducted according to which Tally was described as a vertebrate. According to researchers, Tully had a strong cartilage rod that supported the body and gills. Thus, it was assumed that Tully was a predatory vertebrate, similar to some primitive fish. But what else is known about this mysterious monster?
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Researchers believe tally could sproutup to three meters in length, and his body was thin and segmented. The eyes of the sea monster were set on each end of a long, hard rod at the crown of the head, and he also had a tail fin. However, the strangest thing is that the monster's jaws were located at the end of a long proboscis, suggesting that he ate food hidden deep in silt or in rocky cracks. But despite such an intricate appearance, researchers believe that this mysterious monster was not a vertebrate. Moreover, unusual elements were discovered in the fossilized eyes of the creature.
Tally Monster's eyes allowed to solve his secret
In the course of the study, scientists usedparticle accelerator for determining the ratio of elements in the eyes of modern vertebrates and invertebrates. Thus, experts were able to make a comparison with the ancient monster Tully. They found that the ratio of zinc to copper in the eye melanosomes was more similar to that in modern invertebrates than in vertebrates.
Melanosome is an organelle contained in the cells of the animal kingdom, which contains melanin and other light-absorbing pigments.
By bombarding samples with flashes of radiationscientists were able to “excite” the elements inside - in this state, each element produces a signature that allows them to determine which elements make up the eyes. Dr. Chris Rogers, a researcher in paleobiology at Cork University College, lead author of the study, believes that Tally's eye chemistry and zinc to copper ratio were more similar to that of invertebrates than vertebrates.
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Scientists note that this suggests thatthe animal may not have been vertebrate. And this contradicts previous attempts to classify it. The research team also found that the fossil eyes contained copper of a different type than the modern invertebrates they studied. It is for this reason that researchers could not classify Tully as one of them.