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The oldest cephalopods — much older than thought — had 10 working arms, not 8


Wouldn’t that mean that they had an even more complex nervous system?

New research led by scientists at the American Museum of Natural History and Yale shows that the oldest ancestors of the group of animals that includes octopuses and vampire squids had not eight but 10 arms. The study, which describes a new species of vampyropod based on a 328-million-year-old fossil that had not been previously described, pushes back the age of the group by nearly 82 million years…

“The arm count is one of the defining characteristics separating the 10-armed squid and cuttlefish line (Decabrachia) from the eight armed octopus and vampire squid line (Vampyropoda). We have long understood that octopuses achieve the eight arm count through elimination of the two filaments of vampire squid, and that these filaments are vestigial arms,” said Whalen. “However, all previously reported fossil vampyropods preserving the appendages only have 8 arms, so this fossil is arguably the first confirmation of the idea that all cephalopods ancestrally possessed ten arms.”

American Museum of Natural History, “New species of extinct vampire-squid-like cephalopod is the first of its kind with 10 functional arms” at ScienceDaily (March 8, 2022)

Note: Apparently, the fossil, Syllipsimopodi bideni, is named after U.S. prez Joe Biden.

Classic stasis:

According to the study, the oldest known definitive vampyropod was found in a fossil fragment that was 240 million years old, so the researchers mostly expected to find cephalopods that were evolutionary precursors to vampyropods. Instead, they discovered what they say is a relative of vampyropods and octopuses, which serves as evidence that these animals lived on Earth 82 million years earlier than previously thought. This would mean that octopuses were around before the era of dinosaurs, reports the Guardian.

Natalia Mesa, “Ten-Limbed Octopus Ancestor Described, Named After Biden” at The Scientist (March 10, 2022)

Question: If evolution is supposed to be the Darwinian claim: “daily and hourly scrutinizing, throughout the world, every variation, even the slightest; rejecting that which is bad, preserving and adding up all that is good; silently and insensibly working, wherever and whenever opportunity offers, at the improvement of each organic being in relation to its organic and inorganic conditions of life,” why do we hear about so much stasis and so little about evolution? The evolution must be happening very fast, punctuated by long periods of stasis.

Or it may in fact be devolution, as described in Michael Behe’s Darwin Devolves.

The paper is open access.

Note: One reason given for the unusual intelligence for which the octopus is noted is the need to control so many limbs. Anyway, see

Octopuses get emotional about pain, research suggests. The smartest of invertebrates, the octopus, once again prompts us to rethink what we believe to be the origin of intelligence. The brainy cephalopods behaved about the same as lab rats under similar conditions, raising both neuroscience and ethical issues.


Is the octopus a “second genesis” of intelligence?

You may also wish to read: Stasis: Life goes on but evolution does not happen

Fossil Squid Named for Joe Biden Excerpt: Meet Syllipsimopodi bideni, which means “prehensile-sucker-foot Biden.” It’s a fossil of a new species of squid that was found by two curators who work at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York, who felt their discovery would honor the 46th president of the United States. It is generally an honor to have a new species named for you; whether Biden felt honored by this association was not mentioned in the report. The fossil challenges the evolutionary narrative about squids, says the press release from AMNH. The title, “New Species of Extinct Vampire-Squid-Like Cephalopod,” may add insult to injury to associate Biden with a blood-sucking monster extending its sucker-laden tentacles to pry the lifeblood out of its victims. They surely did not mean it that way, but it will be hard for Republicans not to snicker. https://crev.info/2022/03/fossil-squid-named-for-joe-biden/
Now that's funny right there I don't care who you are. https://imgflip.com/i/g3ib1 bornagain77
5 isn’t a ‘destination’ number in the inorganic parts of nature. Rectangles and hexagons are the best packings. Pentagons don’t pack.
6 is a less perfect number than 5 - so 6 would be a destination number for the non-living and 5 more fitting for the living. 7 is angelic and eternal. 5 gives a middle digit - thus allowing balance around a center. Virtue is in the middle between extremes. We use it for 5 star ratings - a middle point flanked by uppers and lowers. 6 does provide 12 and all the highly divisible aspects that way, but it's lacking in other aspects. Silver Asiatic
Seversky: Do you like the part where Darwin says, " . . . it is probable . . . ? So, it's probable he's right. And on this an entire scientific discipline is constructed? Darwin was wrong. How do we know he was wrong? The Cambrian Explosion. End of story. Darwin fully expected that further exploration of the fossil record would show a progression of species throughout time equal to that from the Cambrian until now. Why? Because that's the ONLY way that Phyla could be produced. Otherwise gradualism would not work. His theory is broken. Disproved. But until a "stake is put through its heart," it refuses to die. To the shame of many and to the befuddlement of many, many more. PaV
The fine-tuning types might want to ask why 5 is associated with intelligence. 5 limbs per side on cephalopods, 5 digits per limb on mammals. 5 isn't a 'destination' number in the inorganic parts of nature. Rectangles and hexagons are the best packings. Pentagons don't pack. polistra
If they're going to name it after a modern figure, Biden isn't the right choice. Jamie Dimon is the ONLY choice, since Goldman is actually CALLED the vampire squid. All politicians are wholly owned by Wall Street. Biden is nothing special. polistra
... why do we hear about so much stasis and so little about evolution? The evolution must be happening very fast, punctuated by long periods of stasis.
Funny, Darwin mention that 163 years ago.
... it is probable that the periods, during which each underwent modification, though many and long as measured by years, have been short in comparison with the periods during which each remained in an unchanged condition. [p410f]

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