First animals: fossils and reconstructions


Modern ctenophores - called comb jellies - all have soft bodies. Galaectena and its relatives, however, were lightly armoured, with hardened spokes running down the sides of the body, and had eight sets of comb rows, which were covered by hair-like cilia in life. This enabled the creature to swim through the water, well above the sea floor. Galaectena lacked the feeding tentacles of living ctenophores and may instead have fed by engulfing its prey.



Like Oedigera from Sirius Passet, this creature swam through the water using its tail, as fish do. It was a filter-feeder, taking water in through the opening at the front of the head, filtering microscopic particles from the water inside the body and expelling water through the openings on the sides. 

See a labelled up version of our Cambrian ocean reconstruction, side by side with the fossils they are based on