Researchers Uncovered the 'Ancestor Of All Animals’
Sat, April 10, 2021

Researchers Uncovered the 'Ancestor Of All Animals’

 

Scientists have shown that Ediacaran biota is the earliest multicellular organism, which holds the oldest and most complex fossils of multicellular organisms. They doubted that this group was the oldest ancestor of all bilaterians, an organism with a front and back, two symmetrical sides, and openings at either end connected by a gut, because most members of the group aren’t directly related to modern-day animals. Thus, they believed that the oldest ancestor of all bilaterians was likely small and simple, with very basic sensory organs.

 

Credits: All That’s Interesting

 

However, many experts have believed that they would never find the fossilized remains of the oldest ancestor of all bilaterians since the earliest Ediacaran biota creatures were so tiny. But researchers found a 555-million-year-old worm-like creature in Nilpena, South Australia, where fossilized burrows date back to the Ediacaran Period about 555 million years ago. The creature, which is named Ikaria wariootia, is now considered the earliest bilaterian.

 

Credits: All That’s Interesting

 

This discovery is a huge deal for many researchers because the development in bilaterian body structure is an integral step in the evolution of animal life. A multitude of animals is all organized around this basic bilaterian body plan, even humans. “Burrows of Ikaria occur lower than anything else. It’s the oldest fossil we get with this type of complexity. We knew that we also had lots of little things and thought these might have been the early bilaterians that we were looking for,” geology professor Mary Droser said. 

 

Credits: All That’s Interesting

 

According to All That’s Interesting, a site for curious people who want to know more about what they see on the news or read in history books, the researchers used 3D laser scans to confirm its size and shape. They also revealed clear heads, tails, and even grooves that suggested the presence of muscles. “We thought these animals should have existed during this interval, but always understood they would be difficult to recognize. Once we had the 3D scans, we knew that we had made an important discovery,” doctoral graduate Scott Evans said. 

 

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