Tramping around Cape Breton looking for fossils:
Then Hebert spotted another set of bones that stopped him dead in his tracks: a tiny, inch-long skull, nestled into the space where a left femur met a pubic bone. This skull, Hebert realized, belonged to a juvenile, curled up against what was probably its mother.
Hebert didn’t know it at the time, but what he found would soon become the prime piece of evidence in a paper published today in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution arguing that parental care—investing resources in offspring after birth—is at least 306 million years old…
“We tend to think of animals in [this part of] the past as ‘primitive’ or ‘simple,’” says Jackie Lungmus, a vertebrate paleontologist at the University of Chicago who wasn’t involved in the study. “But they deserve more credit. Even back then … these animals were probably doing a lot of the things that animals still do today.”Katherine J. Wu, “Lizard-Like Fossil May Represent 306-Million-Year-Old Evidence of Animal Parenting” at Smithsonian Magazine
“Even back then … these animals were probably doing a lot of the things that animals still do today.” Right. So when did Big Evolution happen?
See also: Fossil forest update: “Pretty sophisticated” for nearly 400 million years ago Researcher: “Based on what we know from the body fossil evidence of Archaeopteris prior to this, and now from the rooting evidence that we’ve added at Cairo, these plants are very modern compared to other Devonian plants.
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