Summary #1064

Ancestor of all animals identified in Australian fossils

phys.org
  • First ancestor of most animals, including humans, has been discovered—Ikaria wariootia had a mouth, anus, gut, and a bilaterian body plan.
  • Bilateral symmetry was a critical step in evolution, enabling organisms to move purposefully, but so far the first organism to develop it wasn’t known.
  • Ikaria wariootia was discovered through careful analysis of 555 million-year-old samples.
  • It was a wormlike creature, up to 7mm (0.27in) long, with a distinct head and tail, as well as faintly grooved musculature.
  • This discovery confirms what evolutionary biologists previously predicted.

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