Is this ancient, bag-like sea creature our earliest ancestor?

Chinese researchers have found microfossils that could be the human races' earliest ancestors.
By Aaron Sims | Jan 31, 2017
Chinese researchers have found microfossils that could be the human races' earliest ancestors. Named Saccorhytus, they have no resemblance whatsoever to people and in fact look like 'Aliens' who the researchers have described as a tiny bag-like sea creature that existed 540 million years ago.

This millimeter long creature lived between grains of sand on the seabed and although its fossils were found on dry land, the home of Saccorhytus is believed to be in the shallow parts of the sea. The study has since been published in Journal Nature.

Saccorhytus belong to a larger group of creatures known as deuterostomes, which evolved into vertebrates, including humans, sea squirts, starfish, sea urchins and acorn worms around half a billion years ago. According to the study, deuterostomes are the common ancestors of many species, and they paved the way for evolution to take place. That diversity proved to be a challenge for the researchers, but Saccorhytus provided the answers as to how the origins looked like.

The researchers drawn from the University of Cambridge in England and Northwest University in China had to sift through close to 3 tons of limestone so that they could retrieve tiny black specs found in the rock.When these specks were placed under the microscope, they presented an idea of how the creature appeared.

It had a large mouth that could grow, and there was evidence of muscles coupled with a thin, flexible skin and an elliptical body with bilateral symmetry. The Saccorhytus lacked an anus, but there was evidence of primitive gills that could discharge water.


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