A Jurassic komatulid found in Ethiopia was named after Zelensky

Scientists have named the current President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky found in the basin of the Blue Nile in the Central part of Western Ethiopia, the fossils fossil sea Lily or feather star squad comatulid one of the subclasses of echinoderms, says The Royal Society Publishing.

“Ausichicrinites zelenskyyi has some similarities with representatives of the Mesozoic Solanocrinitidae, but also has similarities with the modern family Zygometridae, known only from the Holocene, the Western Pacific ocean and Eastern Indian oceans,” said paleontologists.

According to the authors, the Polish scientists of the University of Silesia in Katowice, Institute of paleobiologii the Polish Academy of Sciences and Jagiellonian University in Krakow, this is the first comatulid from the African continent, which belongs as much to the Jurassic period, namely teenscom tier. The age of the fossil is about 150 million years. He had 10 long limbs and tentacles similar to the claws with which it can cling to the bottom of the sea.

Comatulid preserved to our times, and in large quantities inhabit the seabed and reefs in tropical and temperate waters. Modern representatives of this species are sea stars, smaakvolle, sea urchins, sea lilies and sea cucumbers (“sea cucumbers”).

During field work in Ethiopia researchers found a large plate with several comatulae. In September 2021, she was taken to the paleontology laboratory of the faculty of science of the University of Silesia in Katowice for detailed study. Scientists have cleaned fossils, photographed, and the samples were scanned using x-ray computed tomography.

“The described specimen is one of the most complete fossil comatulid known at the moment, and allows you to get a unique view on the morphology her arms and antennae. Described an instance showing signs of regeneration pinnul that represents the first example of this phenomenon from a fossil feather stars,” said the scientists.