A sea animal which was collected recently defied scientific classifications popularly known as the tree of life. Scientists from the University of Copenhagen said that the mushroom shaped organism did not fit into any description of the subdivisions which exist in the animal kingdom.
This is a scenario which occurs very rarely, may be once for every century. The organisms were initially collected in 1986 and they have been described in Plos One, an academic journal.
The article authors reported that they noted several similarities with enigmatic and more often soft bodied bizarre organisms which lived more than 540 million years ago.
“We think they belong to a certain animal kingdom, but we don’t know where,” said Jorgen Olessen, a researcher from the University of Copenhagen.
Some researchers have also reported that the organisms have been very hard to categorize because they have even failed tests in multi-cellular life.
The authors say that there are two animals which have mushroom shape and which they recognize:Dendrogramma discoides and Dendrogramma enigmatica. These animals are very minute and flatbed stalk and disk with a mount in the far end.
In a scientific cruise which took place in 1986, scientists collected some organisms between 400 and 1000 meters inside water near Tasmania. However, the mushroom sized organisms just got recognized recently. This was after the bulk samples which were collected then were individually examined.
“Being able to find something like this is pretty rare, and there is a possibility of it happening just 4 times in about one hundred years,” said Jorgen Olesen, a co-author of the report. He said that they believe the organisms belong to an animal kingdom, but what they are yet to know is which.
At the moment, there is a system that is used to group organisms into taxonomic ranks and levels . Normally, there are about five or six kingdoms that are recognized by biologists.
Dr Olesen said that these organisms don’t belong to the existing Bilateria.
Bilateria is a group of organisms whose bodies share bilateral symmetry. Human beings fall into this group of organisms.
The newly found organisms are non symmetrical and multi-cellular, with a gelatinous material separating the inner cells of the stomach and the outer skin.
However, the researchers discovered some similarities with other animal groups like the Cnidaria which includes such animals as jellyfish and coral. However, the newly discovered organisms didn’t have all the features that are required for them to be included into these categories.