Story at a glance

  • A new article in the journal Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology details the discovery of a symbiotic relationship between nonskeletal coral and crinoid.
  • The relationship was thought to have ended 273 million years ago.
  • The discovery came from a joint team of scientists from Japan and Poland in the Pacific Ocean.

A new article published in the journal Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology reports that paleontologists found a symbiotic relationship between nonskeletal coral and crinoid thought to have ended 273 million years ago.

The nonskeletal coral would attach to the body of the crinoid, also known as a sea lily, below its feeding appendage, allowing the coral to grow as the two deep-sea animals further descend into the ocean.


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Scientists had thought other species of the animals had lived on but that this specific relationship had ceased to exist. 

However, a team of scientists from Japan and Poland discovered a species of hexacoral and a Metridioidea sea anemone attached to the stem of a Japanese sea lily 330 feet down on the floor of the Pacific Ocean off the coasts of Honshu and Shikoku.

The discovery revealed the symbiotic relationship between the two was still thriving and hadn’t ceased after the Paleozoic era as previously thought, creating a multimillion-year scientific love story for the ages.


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Published on May 11, 2021