From “Oldest Organism With Skeleton Discovered in Australia” (ScienceDaily, Mar. 8, 2012), we learn
A team of paleontologists has discovered the oldest animal with a skeleton. Called Coronacollina acula, the organism is between 560 million and 550 million years old, which places it in the Ediacaran period, before the explosion of life and diversification of organisms took place on Earth in the Cambrian.
Oldest so far , we would guess.
“Up until the Cambrian, it was understood that animals were soft bodied and had no hard parts,” said Mary Droser, a professor of geology at the University of California, Riverside, whose research team made the discovery in South Australia. “But we now have an organism with individual skeletal body parts that appears before the Cambrian. It is therefore the oldest animal with hard parts, and it has a number of them — they would have been structural supports — essentially holding it up. This is a major innovation for animals.”
The researchers note that Coronacollina acula lived on the seafloor. Shaped like a thimble to which at least four 20-40-centimeter-long needle-like “spicules” were attached, Coronacollina acula most likely held itself up by the spicules. The researchers believe it ingested food in the same manner a sponge does, and that it was incapable of locomotion. How it reproduced remains a mystery.
Darwinists often point to such discoveries gleefully, hoping to knock the significance out of the Cambrian explosion half a billion years ago, when almost all current phyla of animals appeared rather promptly. The problem they never discuss (and no one would now be legally allowed to discuss in many school systems) is this: If the explosive innovations occur much earlier, they decrease the amount of time for natural selection acting on random mutation (Darwinism) to produce them, a process that must usually be slow anyway.
But why worry about fact when you have case law on your side? That’s how science works, isn’t it? Isn’t it?