The journal "Nature" shows in its latest issue something that seems insignificant but that assumes a feat important in the evolution of life on Earth: the trail left by a "worm" before I die for half a billion years . The path marked on the ground is one of the first evidence of mobility animal , which indicates that already at that time, some, few, species, were able to move on. But in addition, for the first time, appears next to the fossil of the creature that created it, something completely unheard of in that early time.
The researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the State University of Virginia (USA) announced in June of last year, the discovery of trails and burrows left by the appendages of an unknown animal, some 550 million years ago in the region of the Three Gorges of the Yangtze river. However, there were no fossils of related bodies. Now, new findings have allowed them to determine what was the creature that was crawling leaving their mark on the surface. The have called Yilinga spiciformis (something like bug pointed Yiling, the town near where it was found).A trail of fossilized Yilingia spiciformis, which dates back 550 million years - Virginia Tech
researchers have found about thirty of the fossil, even though only one is located on the side of his trail, stopped just before his death. The animal was similar to a millipede from 5 to 26 mm wide and up to 27 cm long, dragging alternatively your body through the muddy ground of the ocean and rested along the way, leaving trails of up to 60 cm, it Was a creature elongated and narrow, with the body divided in more or less 50 segments, a left side and right, back and belly, and a head and a tail. He lived in the period Ediacarán, long before the time of the dinosaurs or even of the supercontinent Pangea.Decision making
Surprisingly, the finding also marks what may be the first sign of decision making among the animals: the trails suggest an effort to move towards something or away from something, perhaps under the direction of a central nervous system sophisticated. The mobility of the animals led to environmental impacts and ecological system of the Earth's surface.
"We are the animal most powerful in the Land," says Shuhai Xiao, a co-author of the study and research of the State University of Virginia. "We leave a big footprint, not only of locomotion, but many other activities related to our capacity of movement," he says.These fossils shed new light on the evolution of the mobility of the animals and the segmentation of the body - Zhe Chen / Institute of Geology and Paleontology
"This is a remarkable finding of fossils are highly significant. We now have evidence that the animals targeted were present and had gained a capacity to move through the bottom of the ocean before the Cambrian, and, most notably, we can link to the actual manufacturer of the trace with the trace", indicates Rachel Wood, professor of the Faculty of Geosciences of the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, who was not involved in the study. "Such preservation is unusual and provides considerable insight of an important step in the evolution of animals."
Updated Date: 12 September 2019, 16:00