EARLIEST KNOWN COMPLETE NERVOUS SYSTEM DISCOVERED Extinct ‘Mega Claw’ Creature Had Spider-Like Brain October 16, 2013 - University of Arizona news release
A team of researchers led by University of Arizona Professor Nick Strausfeld and London Natural History Museum’s Greg Edgecombe have discovered the earliest known complete nervous system, exquisitely preserved in the fossilized remains of a never-before described arthropod that crawled or swam in the ocean 520 million years ago.
The find suggests that the ancestors of chelicerates – spiders, scorpions and their kin – branched off from the family tree of other arthropods – including insects, crustaceans and millipedes – more than half a billion years ago.
IMAGES Fossil of the megacheiran Alalcomenaeus, a distant relative of scorpions and spiders. (Photo: N. Strausfeld et al.)
Close-up of the head region of the Alalcomenaeus fossil specimen with superimposed colors, using a microscopy technique revealing the distribution of chemical elements in the fossil. // Copper shows up as blue, iron as magenta and the CT scans as green. The coincidence of iron and CT denote nervous system. The creature boasted two pairs of eyes (ball-shaped structures at the top). (Photo: N. Strausfeld/UA)
Illustration of the nervous systems of the Alalcomenaeus fossil (left), a larval horseshoe crab (middle) and a scorpion (right). Diagnostic features revealing the evolutionary relationships among these animals include the forward position of the gut opening in the brain and the arrangement of optic centers outside and inside the brain supplied by two pairs of eyes. (Illustration: N. Strausfeld/UA)
You are the books you read, the films you watch, the music you listen to, the people you meet, the dreams you have, and the conversations you engage in. You are what you take from these. You are the sound of the ocean, breath of the fresh air, the brightest light and the darkest corner. You are a collective of every experience you have had in your life. You are every single second of every day. So drown yourself in a sea of knowledge and existence. Let the words run through your veins and the colours fill your mind until there is nothing left to do but explode.
A mushroom-shaped sea animal discovered off the Australian coast has defied classification in the tree of life.
A team of scientists at the University of Copenhagen says the tiny organism does not fit into any of the known subdivisions of the animal kingdom.
Such a situation has occurred only a handful of times in the last 100 years…
The authors of the article note several similarities with the bizarre and enigmatic soft-bodied life forms that lived between 635 and 540 million years ago - the span of Earth history known as the Ediacaran Period.
These organisms, too, have proven difficult to categorise and some researchers have even suggested they were failed experiments in multi-cellular life…
Dendrogramma, New Genus, with Two New Non-Bilaterian Species from the Marine Bathyal of Southeastern Australia (Animalia, Metazoa incertae sedis) – with Similarities to Some Medusoids from the Precambrian Ediacara
A new genus, Dendrogramma, with two new species of multicellular, non-bilaterian, mesogleal animals with some bilateral aspects, D. enigmatica and D. discoides, are described from the south-east Australian bathyal (400 and 1000 metres depth). A new family, Dendrogrammatidae, is established for Dendrogramma. These mushroom-shaped organisms cannot be referred to either of the two phyla Ctenophora or Cnidaria at present, because they lack any specialised characters of these taxa. Resolving the phylogenetic position of Dendrogramma depends much on how the basal metazoan lineages (Ctenophora, Porifera, Placozoa, Cnidaria, and Bilateria) are related to each other, a question still under debate. At least Dendrogramma must have branched off before Bilateria and is possibly related to Ctenophora and/or Cnidaria.Dendrogramma, therefore, is referred to Metazoa incertae sedis. The specimens were fixed in neutral formaldehyde and stored in 80% ethanol and are not suitable for molecular analysis. We recommend, therefore, that attempts be made to secure new material for further study. Finally similarities between Dendrogramma and a group of Ediacaran (Vendian) medusoids are discussed.
Four thousand million years on, what was to be the fate of the ancient replicators? They did not die out, for they are past masters of the survival arts. But do not look for them floating loose in the sea; they gave up that cavalier freedom long ago.
Now they swarm in huge colonies, safe inside gigantic lumbering robots, sealed off from the outside world, communicating with it by tortuous indirect routes, manipulating it by remote control.
They are in you and in me; they created us, body and mind; and their preservation is the ultimate rationale for our existence. They have come a long way, those replicators.
Now they go by the name of genes, and we are their survival machines.
…a genus of giant amoebae that are found worldwide. Members of Chaos are usually found freshwater swamps and marshes. They can grow quite large with the largest species reaching lengths of 5mm, although most species range between 1 and 3mm. Like other amoebae members of Chaos are heterotrophs and will take in algae, bacteria, protists, and even some invertebrates via phagocytosis.
Members of the genus closely resemble the genus Amoeba and share their general morphology. However members of Amoeba have a single nucleus, and members of Chaos can have as many as a thousand nuclei.