Dendrogramma mushroom-shaped organisms

Mysterious mushroom shaped organisms found in the sea southeast of Australia, are rather cute and pretty.

Images © University of Copenhagen

Marine biologists from the University of Copenhagen have discovered two new species that “defy all existing classifications of life.”

Dendrogramma mushroom-shaped organisms

In their research paper published in PLOS ONE, they describe two asymmetrical mushroom shaped beings found at a depth of 400 to 1000 meters:

A new family, Dendrogrammatidae, is established for Dendrogramma. These mushroom-shaped organisms cannot be referred to either of the two phyla Ctenophora or Cnidaria at present, because they lack any specialised characters of these taxa. Resolving the phylogenetic position of Dendrogramma depends much on how the basal metazoan lineages (Ctenophora, Porifera, Placozoa, Cnidaria, and Bilateria) are related to each other, a question still under debate. At least Dendrogramma must have branched off before Bilateria and is possibly related to Ctenophora and/or Cnidaria.

Dendrogramma mushroom-shaped organisms

via sploid.gizmodo

source PLOS ONE