A bizarre ancient creature that looks like a sci-fi reject may actually have been a backboned animal related to fish.
The claim relies on chemical analysis of fossils of the creature. However, other palaeontologists remain cautious.
The animal is called Tullimonstrum gregarium, or simply the Tully Monster. It lived around 300 million years ago in shallow waters covering what is now Illinois. There are thousands of good fossils, all from one formation called Mazon Creek.
The Tully Monster had a streamlined body a bit like a worm or fish, …