Possible Link between Ediacaran and Cambrian Animals

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SolarpunkFan
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Possible Link between Ediacaran and Cambrian Animals

Post by SolarpunkFan »

Sci-News
Paleontologists have described the first three-dimensional preservation of soft tissue in Namacalathus hermanastes, a skeletal metazoan (multicellular animal) that lived some 547 million years ago (Ediacaran period) in what is now Namibia, and established a strong evolutionary link between Ediacaran and early Cambrian metazoans.

Until recently, little was known about the origins of animals that evolved during the Cambrian explosion event because of a lack of well-preserved fossil evidence.

The mysterious origins of animals that evolved at this time baffled 19th century naturalist Charles Darwin. It is often referred to as Darwin’s dilemma.

Prior to the new study, it had proven difficult to trace links with earlier animals because their soft tissues — which provide vital clues about the animals’ ancestry — almost always break down over time.

During fieldwork in Namibia, University of Edinburgh’s Professor Rachel Wood and colleagues unearthed the well-preserved fossilized remains of Namacalathus hermanastes.

Using an X-ray imaging technique, they found some of the animals’ soft tissues immaculately preserved inside the fossils by a metallic mineral called pyrite.

Until now, paleontologists had only ever identified skeletal remains of Namacalathus hermanastes.

Professor Wood and co-authors then examined the soft tissues of the Ediacaran animal and compared them with those in animals that evolved later.

They found that Namacalathus hermanastes was an early ancestor of species that appeared during the Cambrian explosion. Among them are types of prehistoric worms and mollusks.

“These are exceptional fossils, which give us a glimpse into the biological affinity of some of the oldest animals,” Professor Wood said.

“They help us trace the roots of the Cambrian explosion and the origin of modern animal groups.”

“Such preservation opens up many new avenues of research into the history of life which was previously not possible.”

The study was published in the journal Science Advances.
Link to said paper

Pretty neat stuff (if I hadn't slept like shit I'd probably say more).
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Re: Possible Link between Ediacaran and Cambrian Animals

Post by Broomstick »

Oooo! Exciting!

I also heard something recently about cholesterol - which is a characteristic of animals - being found in specimens of the Dickinsonia genera, which makes another link between the Ediacara and the Cambrian, although not so directly.

I'm fascinated by Deep Time.
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Re: Possible Link between Ediacaran and Cambrian Animals

Post by SolarpunkFan »

Broomstick wrote: 2021-01-14 04:58pm I'm fascinated by Deep Time.
Likewise!

Interestingly, this little enigma happens to be my state's fossil. How serendipitous. :P
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Re: Possible Link between Ediacaran and Cambrian Animals

Post by Broomstick »

So you live in Illinois, hmm?

I went to a flight school in the area where Tully Monsters are found. Very inconvenient for fossil hunters that part of the area is now under a cooling pond for a nuclear power plant.
A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. Leonard Nimoy.

Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid.- Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. - John F. Kennedy

Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice
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