The ‘Tully monster’ is a vertebrate

Overview of attention for article published in Nature, March 2016
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  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (99th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (99th percentile)

Mentioned by

news
185 news outlets
blogs
14 blogs
twitter
682 tweeters
facebook
17 Facebook pages
wikipedia
2 Wikipedia pages
googleplus
31 Google+ users
reddit
3 Redditors
video
2 video uploaders

Readers on

mendeley
77 Mendeley
citeulike
1 CiteULike
Title
The ‘Tully monster’ is a vertebrate
Published in
Nature, March 2016
DOI 10.1038/nature16992
Pubmed ID
Authors

Victoria E. McCoy, Erin E. Saupe, James C. Lamsdell, Lidya G. Tarhan, Sean McMahon, Scott Lidgard, Paul Mayer, Christopher D. Whalen, Carmen Soriano, Lydia Finney, Stefan Vogt, Elizabeth G. Clark, Ross P. Anderson, Holger Petermann, Emma R. Locatelli, Derek E. G. Briggs, McCoy, Victoria E, Saupe, Erin E, Lamsdell, James C, Tarhan, Lidya G, McMahon, Sean, Lidgard, Scott, Mayer, Paul, Whalen, Christopher D, Soriano, Carmen, Finney, Lydia, Vogt, Stefan, Clark, Elizabeth G, Anderson, Ross P, Petermann, Holger, Locatelli, Emma R, Briggs, Derek E G

Abstract

Problematic fossils, extinct taxa of enigmatic morphology that cannot be assigned to a known major group, were once a major issue in palaeontology. A long-favoured solution to the 'problem of the problematica', particularly the 'weird wonders' of the Cambrian Burgess Shale, was to consider them representatives of extinct phyla. A combination of new evidence and modern approaches to phylogenetic analysis has now resolved the affinities of most of these forms. Perhaps the most notable exception is Tullimonstrum gregarium, popularly known as the Tully monster, a large soft-bodied organism from the late Carboniferous Mazon Creek biota (approximately 309-307 million years ago) of Illinois, USA, which was designated the official state fossil of Illinois in 1989. Its phylogenetic position has remained uncertain and it has been compared with nemerteans, polychaetes, gastropods, conodonts, and the stem arthropod Opabinia. Here we review the morphology of Tullimonstrum based on an analysis of more than 1,200 specimens. We find that the anterior proboscis ends in a buccal apparatus containing teeth, the eyes project laterally on a long rigid bar, and the elongate segmented body bears a caudal fin with dorsal and ventral lobes. We describe new evidence for a notochord, cartilaginous arcualia, gill pouches, articulations within the proboscis, and multiple tooth rows adjacent to the mouth. This combination of characters, supported by phylogenetic analysis, identifies Tullimonstrum as a vertebrate, and places it on the stem lineage to lampreys (Petromyzontida). In addition to increasing the known morphological disparity of extinct lampreys, a chordate affinity for T. gregarium resolves the nature of a soft-bodied fossil which has been debated for more than 50 years.

Twitter Demographics

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Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 77 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 5 6%
United Kingdom 4 5%
Germany 2 3%
Japan 2 3%
Sweden 2 3%
Portugal 1 1%
Switzerland 1 1%
France 1 1%
Finland 1 1%
Other 3 4%
Unknown 55 71%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Researcher 23 30%
Student > Ph. D. Student 22 29%
Student > Bachelor 11 14%
Student > Master 7 9%
Student > Postgraduate 4 5%
Other 10 13%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 40 52%
Earth and Planetary Sciences 20 26%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 4 5%
Environmental Science 3 4%
Neuroscience 2 3%
Other 8 10%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 1953. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 22 February 2017.
All research outputs
#257
of 7,597,208 outputs
Outputs from Nature
#76
of 45,923 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#27
of 277,494 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Nature
#6
of 1,051 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 7,597,208 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 45,923 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 70.8. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 277,494 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 1,051 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.