Sunday, August 30, 2009

"Diving Deep for a Living Fossil"

I recently read the article, Diving deep for a living fossil, on the Science Times website. While I found the article incredibly interesting, it left me a bit confused.

I felt that the article never fully explained how a fossil can be alive. Is a fossil not the impression of a once living body left in rock? The article states that there is evidence that, Paleodictyon nodosum, a creature thought to have been extinct 50 million years ago, may actually still alive; yet, it does not explain what this evidence is. The article says that no body parts or DNA has been recovered, so what proof is there of a living thing? Also, even if there is proof, wouldn't that creature simply be a living thing, and not a living fossil?

Despite my confusion, the article sparked my interest with its mention of the Sea Lily, an ancient creature that lives in the dark depths of the ocean. These creatures look very much like plants, although it seems they have arms and mouths and can actually run from predators. I found a cool video of a Sea Lily moving across the ocean floor. Click to Watch Video

Lastly, I found one of the article's quote from Peter A. Rona, the scientist studying the 'living fossil' to be particularly interesting. Rona states, "“It’s science. It’s detective work. It’s about racking up one clue after another.” I like this statement a lot because the same could be said about journalism. The same way in which scientists much search for answers to the natural world's wonders, journalists must search for answers to society's happenings.