Scientists have uncovered ancient jellyfish fossils in Canada’s famous Burgess Shale fossil site. These fossils, belonging to a newly identified jellyfish species called Burgessomedusa phasmiformis, date back 505 million years. Despite being made mostly of water, these soft creatures were well preserved, with fossils about 8 inches (20 centimeters) long. The findings, published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, give us a glimpse into the past.

Jellyfish are part of the Cnidaria group, which includes ancient species like corals and sea anemones. The discovery of Burgessomedusa phasmiformis fossils suggests the existence of large, bell-shaped jellyfish that swam freely over half a billion years ago. The Burgess Shale Site provides valuable insights into the ancient marine ecosystem and species interactions. Burgessomedusa phasmiformis likely played a significant role in the ancient marine food chain with its unique features, including 90 finger-like tentacles for catching prey. This discovery adds to our knowledge of Earth’s history and the diverse species in the Burgess Shale.