Monday, 7 March 2016

Fossil with 500 million year-old nervous system

One of the most detailed and well-preserved nervous system fossils ever found, from a crustacean-like animal that lived more than 500m years ago has been discovered. These fossils, which come from the Xiaoshiba biota in south China, are so well preserved that you can see individual nerve roots ten times thinner than a human hair. The findings offer the most detailed view of the nervous system in early animals available to date, and inform us about the early evolution of the nervous system in these creatures and their close relatives. These animals, the fuxianhuiids (pronounced foo-see-an-who-eeds) were primitive and known only to have lived during the early Cambrian period in China, some 515-520m years ago. Fuxianhuiids are widely regarded as being important for understanding the early evolution of the arthropods. This is a large group of animals with jointed limbs and hard exoskeletons that also includes insects, arachnids and crustaceans. Finding preserved nervous tissues in fuxianhuiids tells us a lot about their early evolution and that of their close relatives.
Click here for a link

No comments: