The most bizarre life story on Earth?
- There's no question that discovering a new species is very cool. But how about discovering a new phylum? A phylum is a broad division in taxonomy: all vertebrates, for example, from fish to humans, are in the chordate phylum. In 1995, Peter Funch and Reinhardt¸bjerg Kristensen, both then at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, discovered an animal so unlike any other that a new phylum Cycliophora had to be created just for it.Symbion pandora, as they called the new creature, is a tiny animal with a complex body and a bizarre life cycle. It still baffles biologists 15 years after it was formally described, and the latest work on its nervous system isn't helping matters.