Eight-armed animal preceded dinosaurs
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November 4, 2008: Scientists have discovered simple, eight-armed life forms which lived in the Ediacaran Period 635 to 541 million years ago. They went extinct shortly before the Cambrian Explosion.

While the eight-armed, radially symetric diploblastic creature got the headlines, it wasn't the only exotic find at the sites:

In addition to the eight-armed creature, they describe other early living things that looked like leaves, shells, stars and something almost akin to a peace symbol.



Game and Story Use

  • This eight-armed creature could be the originator of more advanced life forms on an Alternate Earth which now makes contact with ours.
  • Alternatively, descendants of these creatures could survive in a remote location (such as Lake Vostok), and someone accidentally introduces them to the rest of Earth - with disastrous consequences.
  • In a Cthulhu campaign, these fossils could serve as "proof" that the Old Ones (or the Mi-Go) were experimenting with genetics in The Dark Times.
    • Perhaps this 8-armed thing is a tiny precursor to the dreaded Shoggoth.
      • Should a Shoggoth ever be dissected or vivisected in a lab (good luck!), under close examination it might prove to be a hivemind amalgamation of smaller tentacular creatures. Perhaps these fossils are Shoggoth - before they developed communal intelligence.
    • The leaf or star-shaped organisms might actually be Elder-Sign-shaped organisms. It would be a convenient defense mechanism to evolve.
      • Or maybe the Elder Race's idea of a bio-weapon.
  • Should they go back (or be stranded) far enough in the past, Time Travelers may have to contend with all sorts of bizarre critters. They may have been prepared for Dinosaurs, but less known creatures need not be any less dangerous.
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