The oldest brain fossil found, 525 million years old

KOMPAS. com – 525 million year old worm fossil found at China surprised the researchers. The reason is that the worm is known to have brain which is said to be the oldest ever found.

The shape of the brain could also help provide clues about arthropod evolution.

That’s because the brains of this group of insects, arachnids and crustaceans have puzzled researchers for more than a century.

To collect live science, Monday (5/12/2022) ancient worms which is known as Cardiodictyon catenulumit was discovered in 1984 along with several other fossils at a site in the Chinese province of Yunnan.

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The worm-like creatures belonged to the phylum Lobopodia, a group of extinct ancestors of seafloor arthropods with armored shells and stubby legs that were abundant during the Cambrian Period (541 million to 485.4 million years ago).

So, in a new study, a team of researchers reanalysed the fossil specimens and found that the creatures harbored a startling secret: a preserved nervous system and brain.

“To our knowledge, it is oldest brain fossil we know, so far,” study lead author Nicholas Strausfeld, a neurologist at the University of Arizona in Tucson, said in a statement.

It took scientists nearly 40 years to find the brain of C. catenulum, because researchers previously believed the animal’s soft tissue had been lost over time.

But recent research has changed that bias.

The researchers had also previously found primitive brain fossils in a 500-million-year-old penis worm relative, a 520-million-year-old sea monster, and dozens of three-eyed sea creatures from about 506 million years ago.

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Read also: Very rare, experts find 310 million year old brain fossils

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