So were the ancient sea cucumbers: the closest thing to the facehugger of 'Alien'

He Alien or Xenomorph It is a fictional parasitoid extraterrestrial biological entity that stars in the Alien film saga. In his larval phase of facehugger or abrazacaras he starred in one of the most terrifying scenes in the history of cinema.

And now that we can know how ancestral sea cucumbers were, we realize that, at least in appearance, they looked a lot like each other. The 3D recreation of the fossil of a sea cucumber that lived 430 million years ago It has been conceived by researchers from the Natural History Museum of the University of Oxford, in the United Kingdom.

Cthulhu

The researchers, it seems, believe that this sea cucumber does not resemble Alien's xenoform as much as Cthulhu, a tentacular deity devised by the author of fiction and terror Howard Phillips Lovecraft, and therefore they have baptized it as Sollasina cthulhu.

To achieve this reliable reconstruction, paleontologists studied a fossil of only 3 centimeters using a method that consisted of shredding it, layer by layer, with a photograph taken at each stage. This produced hundreds of images of cuts, which were digitally reconstructed as a "virtual fossil."

It is believed that these tentacles, or "tubular feet", which it possesses served to capture food and crawl on the seabed. This 3D reconstruction allowed paleontologists visualize an inner ring, which they interpreted as part of the vascular system of water, the system of channels filled with liquid used for food and movement in live sea cucumbers and their relatives.

As explained by the co-author of the work, Jeffrey Thompson, member of the Royal Society Newton International at the 'University College London' (United Kingdom):

We performed a series of analyzes to determine if 'Sollasina' was more closely related to sea cucumbers or sea urchins. To our surprise, the results suggest that it was an ancient sea cucumber. This helps us understand the changes that occurred during the early evolution of the group, which ultimately gave rise to the forms of slugs we see today.