Image Gallery: Extinct Sea Creature Reconstructed

Spiky Sea Creature

(Image credit: Esben Horn)

Researchers have created a model of a species of prehistoric mollusk — a type of multiplacophoran called Protobalanus spinicoronatus — based on a fossil specimen and CT scan. The spiky creature lurked in ocean waters 390 million years ago.

Fossil Inspiration

(Image credit: Jakob Vinter/University of Texas at Austin)

Scientists based their model of the mollusk on a delicate, fossilized specimen of the creature found in Ohio 10 years ago.

Specimen Under Scan

(Image credit: Jakob Vinter/University of Texas at Austin)

The researchers analyzed the fossil with a CT scan. This image shows the original, broken state of the specimen's spines and plates.

Putting The Pieces Together

(Image credit: Jakob Vinter/University of Texas at Austin)

With the scan, the researchers were able to reconstruct how the mollusk's armor of stiff plates and spines would have originally been arranged.

Mollusk Comes Into 3D

(Image credit: Jakob Vinter/University of Texas at Austin)

A 3D print of the CT scan was used to make a model of the mollusk.

Mollusk Model

(Image credit: Jakob Vinter/University of Texas at Austin)

The textured model in clay, resin and silicone shows how the multiplacophoran looked 390 million years ago.