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March 8, 2024

Fossilized marine organism pleurocystitid

A fossilized pleurocystitid, a marine organism that went extinct nearly 450 million years ago and is believed to be one of the first echinoderms capable of movement using a muscular stem. Mechanical engineers at Carnegie Mellon University engineered a soft robotic replica of a pleurocystitid to understand how the organism moved and the biomechanical factors that drove echinoderm evolution.

[Research supported by U.S. National Science Foundation grant CMMI 1946456.]

Learn more in the NSF Research News story 450 million-year-old organism finds new life in softbotics. (Date of image: 2023; date originally posted to NSF Multimedia Gallery: March 8, 2024)

Credit: Carnegie Mellon University

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