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(Cover Image)Credit: Ilya Bobrovskiy, The Australian National University (ANU)
Scientists from The Australian National University (ANU) have discovered that 558 million-year-old Dickinsonia fossils do not reveal all of the features of the earliest known animals, which potentially had mouths and guts.
ANU PhD scholar Ilya Bobrovskiy, lead author of the study, said the study shows that simple physical properties of sediments can explain Dickinsonia’s preservation, and implies that what can be seen today may not be what these creatures actually looked like.
“These soft-bodied creatures that lived 558 million years ago on the seafloor could, in principle, have had mouths and guts — organs that many palaeontologists argue emerged during the Cambrian period tens of millions of years later,” said Mr Bobrovskiy from the ANU Research School of Earth Sciences.
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