Tag: Imran A. Rahman
Imran is a palaeontologist at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, UK. His research is focused on the palaeobiology and evolution of echinoderms — the group that includes starfish and sea urchins. He studies early fossil echinoderms with the aid of X-ray computed tomography and computer simulations, shedding light on their anatomy, functional morphology and evolutionary relationships. He is also interested in the anatomy and development of modern species. Imran is currently funded by the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851.
Outside of palaeontology, Imran is a keen supporter of Liverpool football club and the English cricket team. This probably explains his sometimes glum demeanour.
Dr. Imran A. Rahman, Oxford University Museum of Natural History, Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PW, UK.
by Imran A. Rahman*1
The fossil record of early animals — which dates back at least to the Cambrian period, more than 500 million years ago — is packed full of bizarre sea creatures that seem, at first glance, rather different from anything alive today. These include the armoured slug-like Wiwaxia, the spiny worm-like Hallucigenia and Earth’s first big predator, Anomalocaris. Collectively, these fossils were termed “weird wonders” by the evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould; they possess some, but not all, of the characteristics shared by their modern relatives, and so are crucial for understanding the early evolution of animal phyla.
This article focuses on a peculiar extinct group of Cambrian weird wonders called the cinctans, which look more like tennis racquets t