Thank you very much to everyone who submitted an entry to Competition 2: Create your own organism. We had great fun looking through the very creative inventions of our programme participants! Below you can see some of the winning entries, as selected by our team of markers.
1st place (Year 10): Amy A. & Jessica T.
Amy’s winning entry
I have created a model of the organism, wiwaxia papilio. Wiwaxia were soft bodied creatures covered in a layer of scales and spines that protected them from predators.
I created these scales using painted and scored recycled cardboard and attached them to a papier-mâché dome. Whilst I acknowledge that this organism falls slightly after the Avalon explosion, I was really fascinated by the shape and form and wanted to try and recreate it as a model.
Wiwaxia are from the early Cambria era. During my research I discovered that it has caused many debates between scientists. Although the wiwaxia are similar to a mollusc, having a muscular body, some scientists argue that because of its shelled armour it cannot belong in that group.
The wiwaxia crawls along the sea floor, using its bands of muscle to contract and extend, moving it along. I created my model in a scale of 1:6 as the creature would only have measured 5cm at its longest.
Jessica’s winning entry
Charnias are one of the oldest multicellular lifeforms, existing on the planet in Australia, Canada, England, and Russia around 575 to 544 million years ago, during the Ediacaran period, before the Avalon explosion, which caused immense geological and biological change. The fossil was found in 1956, recorded, and then officially identified in 1958, after a schoolboy named Roger Mason brought it to the attention of scientists. The Charnia resembles a fern’s frond: ‘un-displayed’ and ‘furled’ branches alternately organised. Using recycled textiles and a wire frame, allowed me to quilt and pucker the fabric adding 3D definition, together with flexibility to twist the model to represent the organism’s form.
1st place (Year 11): Rebecca G., Victoria K. & Julia R.
Rebecca’s winning entry
Namibia, Southwest Africa, ~ 543 million years old
From the Cloudindae family. It is suggested that Cloudinids lived embedded in microbial mats, and they grew new cones to avoid being buried by silt. Cloudina is one of the first small jelly fish fossil to be found, most abundant and a mineralized skeleton. Diameter of borings in Cloudina are proportional to the size of specimens, which indicates predators attacked in a selective manner. This suggests the possibility of speciation in response to predation, often hypothesized as a cause of the rapid diversification of animals in the Cambrian period.
I have chosen to portray this fossil using newspaper, as it is the most sustainable solution.