“A new study from the University of Cambridge has identified one of the oldest fossil brains ever discovered – more than 500 million years old “

Standard

“The results… identify a key point in the evolutionary transition from soft to hard bodies in early ancestors of arthropods, the group that contains modern insects, crustaceans and spiders…What we’re seeing in these fossils is one of the major transitional steps between soft-bodied worm-like creatures and arthropods with hard exoskeletons and jointed limbs…

Ortega-Hernández observed that bright spots at the front of the bodies, which are in fact simple photoreceptors…The photoreceptors are connected to the front part of the fossilised brain, very much like the arrangement in modern arthropods. In all likelihood these ancient brains processed information like in today’s arthropods, and were crucial for interacting with the environment, detecting food, and escaping from predators.During the Cambrian Explosion[6], a period of rapid evolutionary innovation about 500 million years ago when most major animal groups emerge in the fossil record, arthropods with hard exoskeletons and jointed limbs first started to appear. Prior to this period, most animal life on Earth consisted of enigmatic soft-bodied creatures that resembled algae or jellyfish…”

.”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s