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Canadian cephalopod discovery pushes their origin back 30 million years

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  • Canadian cephalopod discovery pushes their origin back 30 million years

    Cephalopods are already some of the oldest animals on the planet, with their lineages stretching back nearly half a billion years, but now researchers have found what appears to be the remains of the earliest cephalopods known pushing back their existence by tens of million years.

    I should note that first cephalopods date back roughly half a billion years ago (Late Cambrian) and this new discovery, found in shallow-water limestone deposits at Bacon Cove on the southwestern side of Conception Bay, in the southeastern portion of the Avalon Peninsula of Newfoundland, Canada, places their origin back to approximately 522 mya. Now every report says that the date has been pushed back 30 million years, but from the dates I've seen it looks more like 20 million

    Anywho... The discovery confirms suspicions that these creatures evolved much earlier than what we saw in the fossil record. The researchers, all from Heidelberg University's Institute of Earth Sciences, note that they resemble other known early cephalopods but also differ so much from them that they might conceivably form a link leading to the Early Cambrian.

    The discovery is also attracting long over due attention to the micro-continent of Avalonia, which -- besides the east coast of Newfoundland -- comprises parts of Europe, as being the site for more fossil discoveries in the future.

    I should also note that the identification is still tentative and the critters haven't been officially named yet.



    Source: 500 million-year-old fossil is the granddaddy of all cephalopods


    These tiny creatures existed during the early Cambrian

    The oldest known cephalopod — part of the group that includes octopuses, squid, cuttlefish and nautiluses — is more than half a billion years old, a new study suggests.

    The fossils date to the early Cambrian period and are about 522 million years old, according to the researchers, who found the fossils on the Avalon Peninsula of Newfoundland, Canada. Until now, the oldest cephalopod on record was a shelled creature known as Plectronoceras cambria, which lived about 30 million years after the recently discovered, yet-to-be-named cephalopod, the team said.

    The finding suggests "that cephalopods emerged at the very beginning of the evolution of multicellular organisms during the Cambrian explosion," study lead researcher Anne Hildenbrand, a geoscientist at the Institute of Earth Sciences at Heidelberg University in Germany, said in a statement.

    Previously, molecular studies based on rates of genetic change over time suggested that cephalopods originated in the early Cambrian. But the new findings — which "arguably represents the earliest cephalopod known to date" — are the first concrete evidence that supports this idea, the researchers wrote in the study.

    The ancient, pill-shaped cephalopod fossils are tiny — one measured just half an inch tall (1.4 centimeters) and 0.1 inch (0.3 cm) wide, the researchers said. But that's to be expected, because "all of the cephalopod-ish things from back in the Cambrian were pretty small," Michael Vecchione, an invertebrate zoologist at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., who was not involved in the study, told Live Science.

    The fossils show that this ancient creature had a cone-shape shell that was subdivided into different chambers. These chambers were connected by a siphuncle — an internal tube seen in shelled cephalopods, including extinct ammonites and modern-day nautiluses — that pumps fluids and gases through the different chambers to help the animal adjust its buoyancy.

    By evolving a siphuncle, cephalopods became the first known organisms to be able to actively move up and down in the water, the researchers said. With this ability to move, early cephalopods picked the open ocean as their chosen habitat, the researchers noted.

    The researchers discovered the fossils on the ancient micro-continent of Avalonia, which encompassed parts of eastern Newfoundland and Europe. The team hopes to find more fossils of this ancient creature so that they can confirm, with greater certainty, that it's an early cephalopod, they said.

    However, based on the data presented in the new study, published online March 23 in the journal Communications Biology, Vecchione said that the team's analysis was on point.

    "I think it is a cephalopod based on what they found," Vecchione said. He added that this discovery "means that [cephalopods] separated from the other mollusks really early." Today, mollusks include soft-bodied invertebrate animals such as sea snails, clams and abalones.

    "Cephalopods are really different from other mollusks," Vecchione said. Still, "we do know that they're mollusks, they're not from outer space like some people have said."

    Source

    © Copyright Original Source



    The entire paper, A potential cephalopod from the early Cambrian of eastern Newfoundland, Canada is available online at the hyperlink provided. Here is the abstract from it:

    Abstract


    Although an early Cambrian origin of cephalopods has been suggested by molecular studies, no unequivocal fossil evidence has yet been presented. Septate shells collected from shallow-marine limestone of the lower Cambrian (upper Terreneuvian, c. 522 Ma) Bonavista Formation of southeastern Newfoundland, Canada, are here interpreted as straight, elongate conical cephalopod phragmocones. The material documented here may push the origin of cephalopods back in time by about 30 Ma to an unexpected early stage of the Cambrian biotic radiation of metazoans, i.e. before the first occurrence of euarthropods.




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  • #2
    At least this thread is not about me.


    Securely anchored to the Rock amid every storm of trial, testing or tribulation.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by mossrose View Post
      At least this thread is not about me.
      But you were there before those cephalopods were

      I'm always still in trouble again

      "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
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      • #4
        Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
        But you were there before those cephalopods were
        Who did not see that coming?
        "Neighbor, how long has it been since youíve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?Ē

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

          Who did not see that coming?
          She keeps settin' 'em up and I'll keep knockin' 'em down

          I'm always still in trouble again

          "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
          "Of course, human life begins at fertilization thatís not the argument." --Tassman

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          • #6
            I posted on purpose.

            Because, like CP, I like threads that are about me.



            Securely anchored to the Rock amid every storm of trial, testing or tribulation.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by mossrose View Post
              I posted on purpose.

              Because, like CP, I like threads that are about me.

              So if I were to start a "mossy is so old..." thread you'd like it.

              Done.

              I'm always still in trouble again

              "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
              "Of course, human life begins at fertilization thatís not the argument." --Tassman

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              • #8
                Originally posted by mossrose View Post
                I posted on purpose.

                Because, like CP, I like threads that are about me.
                So, i guess the on-topic question then is, assuming you were around at the time, do we have you to thank for calamari?
                "Any sufficiently advanced stupidity is indistinguishable from trolling."

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by TheLurch View Post
                  So, i guess the on-topic question then is, assuming you were around at the time, do we have you to thank for calamari?
                  Eww! No!



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                  • #10
                    Back to the OP:

                    Longitudinal and cross section of the fossils
                    6059dd4d22b80.jpg




                    It is important to remember that this is still a provisional identification although looking through the paper it seems that the evidence is pretty strong.

                    I'm always still in trouble again

                    "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                    "Of course, human life begins at fertilization thatís not the argument." --Tassman

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