Critter: This 520-Million-Year-Old 'Naked' Clawless Creature Always Lived in Hiding (Watch Video)
Critter (Photo Credits: Qiang Ou)

A recent study on a wormlike creature that lived in the ocean 520 million years ago says it was defenceless. The research suggests that the critter did not have body armour or claws and had to hide from hungry predators by living in dark crevices or among sponges. According to the researchers, the 'naked' creature lived from about 543 million to 490 million years ago.

Study co-researchers Qiang Ou, a paleobiologist at the China University of Geosciences, and Georg Mayer, a zoologist at the University of Kassel in Germany, wrote in the study, "The finding is based on one specimen measuring three cms. It doesn't appear to have a mouth, eyes, tentacle-like appendages or a snout." 99-Million-Year Old Beetle Fossil Found in Amber, World's Earliest Insect Pollinator Discovered From Myanmar

According to a report in Live Science, Derek Briggs, a professor in the Department of Geology and Geophysics at Yale University, who was not involved in the study said the newfound worm animal is "unusual, as there is no sign of the spines or plates that are characteristic of other Cambrian lobopods". Briggs added saying, "Cambrian lobopods tend to be 'armoured,' whereas this one was apparently 'naked'."

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However, fiercer wormlike creatures like Diania cactiformis, Hallucigenia sparsa and the so-called Collins' Monster had needle-like teeth and wicked spines that would make predators stay away from them. Is Octopus An Alien Creature? Know The Truth About The Most Weird Species on the Planet

The scientists have named the naked critter Lenisambulatrix humboldti. The name comes from the Latin words "lenis" and "ambulatrix," which mean "smooth and soft"; and "walker", respectively. The name of the species is in honour of Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt, a Prussian naturalist and explorer, as well as the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, which helped with the new research. Due to its lack of defence and soft body, L. humboldti would have lived permanently hiding from its predators.