Saturday, July 16, 2011


Vetulicola is a bizarre genus of vetulicolian from the Cambrian Period. Vetulicola was probably either a planktivore or a detritivore. Like all other vetulicolians, Vetulicola is thought to be a swimmer, occasionally going down to the bottom to eat detritus.

Vetulicola means "ancient inhabitant." Vetulicola could have been related to Xidazoon, Didazoon, Skeemella, Ooedigera, and Banffia. It had a tail made up of seven segments. At the end of its tail, Vetulicola had a paddle to propel it though the water. One specimen shows a carpoid called Cotyledion tyloides on the last segment of Vetulicola's tail.

Vetulicola had a beak-shaped mouth with no jaws, which it would use to suck in food. It had a row of holes along both left and right sides, which may have been gills. It also had no eyes, and flaps that looked like skate fins on both top and bottom. This may have helped to stabilize Vetulicola when it was swimming.

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