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Syllipsimopodi Bideni

  • 14 Mar 2022
  • 3 min read

Why in News?

Recently, a fossil unearthed in central Montana (US) of a species named Syllipsimopodi bideni represents the oldest-known relative of today's octopuses and boasts 10 arms, with two twice as long as the other eight.

  • It has been named after the US president, Joe Biden.

What are the Characteristics of the Species?

  • Syllipsimopodi, about 12 cm long, had a torpedo-shaped body and squid-like appearance though it was not closely related to squids.
  • It also is the oldest-known creature with suckers, which enable the arms to better grasp prey and other objects.
  • It represents the only member of the octopus lineage with 10 arms, meaning two were lost in later evolution. 
    • There are numerous similar examples in the history of life on Earth – such as the reduction in the number of digits seen in meat-eating dinosaurs or horses.
  • Syllipsimopodi prowled the warm waters of a tropical bay – Montana at the time was situated close to the equator. It may have been a mid-level predator, eating smaller invertebrates.
  • It drifted across oceans nearly 328m years ago.
  • Syllipsimopodi pushes back by 82 million years the origins of a group called vampyropods that includes today's octopuses.
    • Vampyropods are soft-bodied cephalopods typically characterized by eight arms and an internalized chitinous shell or fin supports.
      • Cephalopods are a group of marine invertebrates that include octopuses, squids and cuttlefish.
    • Vampyropoda, the clade combining octopods, vampyromorphs, and their relatives, is one of three main groups of coleoid (internally-shelled) cephalopods, the other two being Decabrachia (squids, cuttlefishes, bobtail squids, and Spirula) and the extinct Belemnoidea.


Consider the following statements: (2019)

  1. Some species of turtles are herbivores.
  2. Some species of fish are herbivores.
  3. Some species of marine mammals are herbivores.
  4. Some species of snakes are viviparous.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

(a) 1 and 3 only
(b) 2, 3 and 4 only
(c) 2 and 4 only
(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

Ans: (d)

What are Characteristics of the Octopuses?

  • Octopuses are the most intelligent invertebrates, and among the most intelligent animals overall.
  • Octopuses are ocean creatures that are most famous for having eight arms and bulbous heads.
  • They have three hearts and blue blood, they squirt ink to deter predators, and being boneless, they can squeeze into (or out of) tight spaces.


The word ‘Denisovan’ is sometimes mentioned in media in reference to (2019)

(a) fossils of a kind of dinosaurs
(b) an early human species
(c) a cave system found in North-East India
(d) a geological period in the history of Indian subcontinent

Ans: (b)

Source: TH

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