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Strange mushroom-shaped animals have finally got a name by the scientists after being discovered a long time ago in the 1980s in the deep sea off Australia.
Researchers say the two new species that been described in the study were officially named Dendrogramma discoides and Dendrogramma enigmatica.
According to a new study, these mysterious animals resemble the floppy chanterelle mushrooms but feel like dollops of gelatin.
Scientists say these strange organisms are so unique that they can lead to restructuring of the earliest branches of the animal family tree.
These ocean-dwellers are so strange that the scientists had to create an entire new taxonomic family for their proper classification.
Researchers say these animals have not find a space into the existing animal group but they do resemble a few species that went extinct long time back. Despite classification, the animal remains a big mystery for the scientists as they hardly know anything about their lifestyle, their feeding habits, their reproduction and even whether they float or attach to the seafloor.
Simon Conway Morris, a biologist at the University of Cambridge, UK, says, “It is a very interesting surprise, and it poses lots and lots of questions.”
Morris studies early animal evolution .
Lead author Jean Just, a taxonomist at the Natural History Museum of Denmark, said that they knew nothing about the creatures not even if they’re upside down.
Both the species have flat discs at their tops that are about 0.5 inches (about 1 centimeter) wide.
A fan of digestive tubes is placed inside the discs which enables delivery of the nutrients. The fan like structure radiate outward like bicycle tire spokes.
The center which is named as “mouth” opens into the stalk. Scientists believe the creature uses this opening for both eating and excreting purposes.
Scientists say one of the two new species has stalk shorter in length and smaller disc as compared to the other one. But this is not a big difference as they are shorter by a few millimeters only.
The unique organism got recognization for the first time on Wednesday in the scientific journal PLOS ONE.