Pets have been a companion to humans for millennia. In fact, according to Greger Larson, director of the University of Oxford's palaeogenomics and bio-archaeology research network, humans have likely kept baby animals for amusement as long as humans have lived. But the story of exactly how animals became domesticated is much debated and often only glimpsed at from scraps of fossils and DNA. Scientists largely agree that dogs were the first domestic animal. They were tamed and used for work or for their meat.
In his years of photographing marine life, Samuel hadn't seen a similar scene before. The fish's tail was sticking outside the back of the jelly, so it was able to propel the creature forward. Over the 20 minutes that Samuel and Plumridge watched in curiosity and amazement, the fish/jellyfish wobbled and swam in circles. The fish knocked the jelly off balance and pushed it from side to side in the water. At some points, the duo just stopped moving.
The paleontologists were initially preparing a 3D model of just the adult fossil, an arthropod that swam around what is now the United Kingdom about 430 million years ago. Arthropods are segmented animals with jointed appendages, such as insects, spiders, and crustaceans. To the team's surprise, the scans revealed ten little bundles of invertebrate joy, tethered to the larger one by long threads.