And considered “remarkable” for exploring a specialized niche so early in their evolution. From ScienceDaily:
Loriciferans are a group of miniscule animals, always less than a millimetre long, which live among grains of sediment on the seabed. They are easy to overlook: the first examples were described from modern environments as recently as the 1980s.
Dr Harvey added: “As well as being very small, loriciferans lack hard parts (they have no shell), so no-one expected them ever to be found as fossils — but here they are! The fossils represent a new genus and species, which we name Eolorica deadwoodensis, loosely meaning the “ancient corset-animal from rocks of the Deadwood Formation.”
“It’s remarkable that so early in their evolution, animals were already exploiting such specialized meiobenthic ecologies: shrinking their bodies down to the size of single-celled organisms, and living among grains of sediment on the seabed.” Paper. (public access) – Thomas H. P. Harvey, Nicholas J. Butterfield. Exceptionally preserved Cambrian loriciferans and the early animal invasion of the meiobenthos. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 2017; 1: 0022 DOI: 10.1038/s41559-016-0022 More.
But how did we decide that early specialization is “remarkable”? Doesn’t that assume a Darwinian daily, hourly adding up? An adding up that never seems to happen quite that way?
Why isn’t the fact that life so seldom develops that way up for honest discussion? As opposed to a few reliable toffs being allowed to air mild objections to the “narrative” now and then. And then it just gets repeated with no change.
And then the whole thing gets shelved, of course, so that fourth rate tax burdens (lecturers) can go on lecturing in peace. What the public doesn’t know won’t hurt, right?
See also: Earliest animals with true body cavities found at 30 mya earlier than thought
Stasis: Life goes on but evolution does not happen
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