A geologist from the University of Leicester is part of a team that has uncovered an ancient water flea-like creature from 425 million years ago – only the third of its kind ever to be discovered in ancient rocks.
Professor David Siveter, of the Department of Geology at the University of Leicester worked with Professor Derek Siveter at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, Professor Derek Briggs at Yale University USA and Dr Mark Sutton at Imperial College to make the rare discovery.
The specimen, which was found in rocks in Herefordshire, represents a new species of ostracod, and has been named Nasunaris flata. Like water-fleas and shrimps, ostracods belong to the group of animals called Crustacea. The find is important because the fossil has been found with its soft parts preserved inside the shell.
Today its descendents are common, and inhabit ponds, rivers and lakes and many parts of the seas and oceans, having first appeared on Earth about 500 million years ago.