Paleontologists Discover New Species of Sea Creature

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Researchers have found a new, fossilized sea species that lived on Earth about 520 million years ago. 

Andrew Smith, a paleontologist, said the new creature is called Helicocystis moroccoensis. It was found in Morocco and "has characteristics that place it as the most primitive echinoderm that has a fivefold symmetry."

Echinoderms are a group of animals that often have five-point symmetries. This includes sea urchins, starfish and sand dollars. 

This new species was also able to change its body shape from slender to stumpy.

"Researchers say it is a transitional animal that could help explain how early echinoderms evolved their unique body plans," Smith said. 

Very few new species are discovered each year, as this one is just one of a few that have been discovered in the past six months.

In February, researchers found a new species of fish in a six-mile-deep water area off the coast of New Zealand. 

That species was discovered by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research. 

In April, a new porcupine forest species was discovered in Brazil. Scientists called it Coendou speratus. 

It is especially important for scientists to discover new species, as it is an indicator of the planet's health at a time when global warming is imminent.

Sources: Inquisitr, MSN