Saturday, July 9, 2011

Tullimonstrum (Tully Monster).

Tullimonstrum is a common fossil found in Illinois. It lived in the Pennsylvanian epoch of the Carboniferous period, about 300 million years ago. The smallest individual Tullimonstrum fossils are 8 centimeters long, but scientists think it could probably grow up to 35 centimeters in length. Tullimonstrum is very mysterious, because no one knows exactly what it is related to. Maybe it's related to modern day mollusks, or maybe it's related to something totally different. 

Tullimonstrum is also called the Tully Monster, because the person who first discovered it was Francis Tully. Francis Tully took the fossil to the Field Museum in Chicago, where they named the fossil the Tully Monster. The name stuck. Then later, someone described it and named it Tullimonstrum gregarium. Its species name, gregarium, means common. Tullimonstrum is the state fossil of Illinois.

Tullimonstrum lived in the open ocean and may have hunted small soft-bodied creatures, such as trilobites that had recently molted. Tullimonstrum had a long proboscis with a claw at the end, which had eight teeth, but the proboscis probably was not the mouth. The mouth was probably located under the head, like Opabinia's mouth. At the posterior end, Tullimonstrum had something that looked remarkably like the posterior end of a squid. Tullimonstrum had a bar that went through its head with a swelling on each end. These swellings may have been eyes, but they could have been another sensory organ. No one actually knows what they were for.


  1. dear super fossil kid & family this tully post is more truthfull then most of the others! The tully fossil your showing is missing only the "claw" which is the actual mouth ! This is a bitten tully. Thats why its not stright.The color markings are also showing and MOST importenly this fossil has the COMPLETE tail with all three finns. SEE it, its on the tip of the tail right after the SIDE finns. THATS THE CORRECT LOCATION FOR IT!!!

  2. Art I made a bo bo. It should read "then most of the others on the inernet". Please be open minded when looking for info. The TRUTH is out there!!! Beleive the fossils first before a human. You will not go wrong!!You need Illinois Magazine vol. 29,no.6 Nov.-Dec.1990 pp.2-4.,fig.1. The ONLY mistake in this paper is a typeO! It should read "first of 4 fossil insects" NOT 44 !!!!! This is the FIRST published record of this correction. I knew both of the writers they were only paid 50 dollars each for that story. Enjoy. Happy New Year