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EARLIEST KNOWN PREHISTORIC HUMAN ANCESTOR IDENTIFIED

03 Feb 17

Researchers from the University of Cambridge have discovered evidence of what they think is the earliest known prehistoric human ancestors. It is a baglike microscopic sea creature found from the fossils in China dating back to some 540 million years before.

This specimen called Saccorhytus appears sack-like with its elliptical body and big mouth. This new species is believed to be most primitive example of “deuterostome”, a wide biological category with numerous subgroups including the vertebrates.

"We think that as an early deuterostome this may represent the primitive beginnings of a very diverse range of species, including ourselves. To the naked eye, the fossils we studied look like tiny black grains, but under the microscope the level of detail is jaw-dropping. All deuterostomes had a common ancestor, and we think that is what we are looking at here" said Simon Conway Morris, one of the researchers.

As per the study’s conclusions, Saccorhytus is the earliest step on the human evolutionary pathway. These measured approximately a millimeter in size; and might have lived on the seabed in-between the sand grains. Their bilaterally symmetrical body is a feature inherited by many of its descendants, including humans.  

Content Source: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/01/170130111008.htm

Image: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/the-human-familys-earliest-ancestors-7372974/


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