Science

Oldest 'footprints' found in China

Oldest 'footprints' found in China”

While scientists are not sure exactly which beast made the footprints, the fossils have been estimated to be around 551 million years old.

But what about Earth - when did animals first leave footprints here?

According to the authors of the study, the newly discovered footprints show "bilaterian animals with paired appendages that raised the animal body above the water-sediment interface".

For comparison, non-bilateral animals include sponges, corals, jellyfish, and anemones.

The identity of the creature that made the 546-million-year-old footprints is still unknown but reports claimed that it came from the period when the earliest animals are thought to have evolved.

Life during the Ediacaran was characterized by algae, lichens, giant protozoans, worms, and various bacteria, but there's still a lot that paleontologists don't know about it.

The researchers speculate that the same creature left both the tracks and the burrows, suggesting an animal that scurried and tunneled its way across the ground. The body fossils of the animals that made these traces, however, have not yet been found.

The paleontological team found two rows of footprints that represent not only the earliest footprints ever found but also the earliest known record of an animal with legs.

Still, this discovery means that paleontologists will have to revise their vision of how life developed in Earth's primordial oceans.

As the Inquisitr previously reported, up until that historic event, which lasted for 20-25 million years and gave rise to most of the major animal groups on the planet, animal life on Earth was limited to simpler, single-celled or multicellular organisms. In fact, the China discovery represents one of the earliest known records of animals evolving appendages. "Late Ediacaran trackways produced by bilaterian animals with paired appendages".

As modern arthropods and annelids served as appropriate analogs for the interpretation of this fossil, the researchers posit the animal in question could be the ancestor of either of the two groups.

Still, due to the proximity of the track marks to fossilised burrows discovered nearby, the researchers hypothesise the creature may have exhibited "complex behaviour", such as periodically digging into sediments to mine oxygen and food among its riverbed habitat. Other research has suggested that the evolutionary roots of bilaterians should go back further than that, but fossils had never turned up until now.



Like this

loading...
loading...

Latest


08 June 2018
Yellowstone bison gores Bay Area woman
Some of the visitors got even closer, agitating the bison and provoking it to cross the boardwalk and charge into Hancock. This incident is being investigated by Park staff; there is no word yet on whether the woman will be cited.

08 June 2018
Oil prices fall on dip in China demand, surging U.S. output
Crude prices came under pressure after data suggested Chinese demand was waning and concerns lingered about growing USA output. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 19 cents, or 0.3 per cent, at $66.14 a barrel.

08 June 2018
Trump will attend G7 summit but he’s leaving early
If you look at what Canada, and Mexico, the European Union - all of them - have been doing to us for many, many decades. Canada is waiting until the end of the month to apply them with the hope the Trump administration will reconsider.

08 June 2018
Celebrity Chef Anthony Bourdain Dead at 61
We will miss you." while another added: "I'm in shock after hearing the news of my CNN colleague Anthony Bourdain's death. Bourdain was married twice: First to Nancy Putkoski from 1985 to 2005, and then to Octavia Bussia from 2007 to 2016.

08 June 2018
Athenahealth CEO Steps Down Amid Review, Elliott Offer
Since January 2, 2018, it had 2 insider purchases, and 23 sales for $12.40 million activity. (NASDAQ:ATHN) for 200 shares. Barton Investment Management holds 5.7% of its portfolio in athenahealth , Inc. for 174,894 shares. (NASDAQ:ATHN).

08 June 2018
Witness saw gator drag woman into Florida pond
The caller reported seeing the alligator drag her into the pond in Silver Lakes Rotary Nature Park at about 9:45 a.m. Police in Davie are now looking for a woman who may have been dragged into a pond in Davie on Friday morning.

08 June 2018
Guburuza rolls over Sharapova into French Open semis
Rafael Nadal is a set down to Diego Schwartzman , while Juan Martin del Potro and Marin Cilic are locked in a first set tie-break. The two players contested an epic three-setter at the Australian Open this year with Halep winning the decider 9-7.

08 June 2018
Trio of astronauts headed to International Space Station
The three astronauts returned safely to Earth on June 3 in a parachute-assisted landing on the steppes of Kazakhstan. The capsule has already made several trips to and from the space station, taking supplies and other cargo.

08 June 2018
Women With Early Stage Breast Cancer Can Skip Chemo, Study Says
Between 600 and 700 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year at the QEII. "I was a little relieved". The usual treatment is surgery followed by years of a hormone-blocking drug.

08 June 2018
Pippa Middleton confirms the rumors - she's pregnant
She has also been seen wearing in her work-out gear in London and attended the French Open in Paris with Matthews . At the time The Sun on Sunday that the couple were "overjoyed" with the news.