General, Research, Technology

The remains of the first animal that lost parts of the body during evolution are found

The distant ancestors of today's animals possessedawesome features. For example, ancient snakes differed from today's reptiles in that they had legs and they could walk with their help. However, the world is constantly changing and many animals eventually get rid of excess parts of their body. But when exactly did they start doing this? Judging by the results of a recent study, for the first time this happened about 518 million years ago, in the so-called Cambrian period. At least this is evidenced by the remains of a mysterious creature of the species Facivermis yunnanicus, whose body was originally covered with limbs. Over time, the creature changed its lifestyle and unnecessary parts of the body during evolution simply disappeared.

It looked like a mysterious creature Facivermis yunnanicus

About an unusual creature, which is considered the first,who got rid of unnecessary parts of the body was written in the scientific publication Current Biology. It is believed that the 10-centimeter Facivermis yunnanicus originally had a body completely covered with limbs. However, during evolution, most of his body lost its “legs” and ultimately the creature has only five pairs of tentacle-covered tentacles left. The mysterious creature was discovered more than 30 years ago, but scientists still do not know which ancestor of which animal it is today.

Mysterious animal of antiquity

It was previously believed that it is an ancestortoday's tentacle animals. However, today scientists are of the opinion that Facivermis yunnanicus belongs to the foreheads, which include the famous and unkillable tardigrades. Some may argue that in foreheads, the limbs are located along the entire body, while the mysterious creation of antiquity has limbs only on the upper body. Scientists believe that these limbs were, but disappeared due to the changed lifestyle of the animal.

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Most likely once upon a time Facivermisyunnanicus moved with limbs. But over time, it began to attach to the bottom, due to which the lower part of the limbs gradually began to disappear. Only the upper tentacles remained, with the help of which the creature captured and ate food. According to the author of the study, Richard Howard, this animal could be the first in the history of our planet to get rid of unnecessary parts of the body.

Perhaps partially burrowing into the bottom, Facivermis yunnanicus defended itself from predators

With all this, scientists do not exclude thatThe ability to get rid of useless organs appeared at a time when multicellular organisms had just appeared on Earth. However, it is most likely not possible to detect such tiny evolutionary changes based on the remains. At the very least, this seems like an extremely difficult task with current technology. It is possible that someday scientists will find at least indirect evidence for this assumption.

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In general, mysterious creatures on our planetenough even today. For example, in 2019, a Parisian zoological park showed the public mucous mold, referred to as Physarum polycephalum. It is believed that it has about 720 floors and, because of its complexity, is one of the most unexplored creatures by scientists. More details about this creation can be found in our special material. The creation is truly interesting, because in the future it can help scientists study the process of repairing damaged tissues.