during the so-called Cambrian life explosion About 550-520 million years ago, it suddenly appeared that the first animals produced hard, rigid skeletons. The fossil record remains are empty tubes ranging in length from a few millimeters to several tens of centimeters.
However, it was not yet known what organisms inhabited and formed these tubes, since there was no trace of the soft flesh. Thanks to the well-preserved fossils unearthed in Yunnan Province in China The situation has changed.
Scientists tested four samples Gangtokonya asperaIntact soft tissues, including the intestines and mouthpieces. The behavior of this type of remains is extremely rare. Research indicates that these animals were among the first animals on Earth to produce solid skeletons.
Analyzes showed that this unusual animal had a mouth surrounded by a ring of smooth, branched claws about 5 mm long. Researchers say they used to “sting and catch prey”. In contrast, the intestines were there blindly finished (The animal had only one orifice) and it was divided into internal cavities that filled the entire tube.
The tubes were made of calcium phosphate, which is made up of our bones and teeth. As Dr. Luke Barry of Oxford University said:- It really is a one in a million discovery. These mysterious tubes are often found in groups of hundreds of individuals, but so far they have been considered “problematic” fossils because we have not been able to classify them. With these fascinating new specimens, a key piece of the evolutionary puzzle sits firmly.
fossils They clearly indicate that extinct animals are associated, among other things, with earthworms and polychaetes (rings). It is now known that the Gangtokuni body has a smooth exterior and that the intestines are ‘split lengthwise’ while the helical bodies have bodies that are segmented across. Exceptional specimens were found at the Gulufang site in Kunming, eastern Yunnan Province China. In the past, the sea in this area was characterized by anaerobic conditions that limited the presence of bacteria that break down soft tissues.
– The “tube” way of life seems to have become more common in the Cambrian period It may be an adaptive response to the increased pressure of predators during this period. Dr. Xiaoya Ma from Yunnan University said the study shows that protecting unique soft tissues is critical to understanding these ancient animals.
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