Ediacaran News

Animal with muscles found from 560 mya (Ediacaran period)

Spread the love
artist’s reconstruction/Martin Brasier

From ScienceDaily:

The fossil, dating from 560 million years ago, was discovered in Newfoundland, Canada. On the basis of its four-fold symmetry, morphological characteristics, and what appear to be some of the earliest impressions of muscular tissue, researchers from the University of Cambridge, in collaboration with the University of Oxford and the Memorial University of Newfoundland, have interpreted it as a cnidarian: the group which contains modern animals such as corals, sea anemones and jellyfish. The results are published today (27 August) in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

The new fossil, named Haootia quadriformis, dates from the Ediacaran Period, an interval spanning 635 to 541 million years ago. It differs from any previously described Ediacaran fossil, as it comprisesof bundles of fibres in a broadly four-fold symmetrical arrangement: a body plan that is similar to that seen in modern cnidarians.

Open access.

As the Abstract puts it, the difference between this and other Ediacarans seems to be “Haootia is distinct from all previously published contemporaneous Ediacaran macrofossils in its symmetrically fibrous, rather than frondose, architecture.” In short, it does not look like a plant. Here are more typical Ediacarans:

images of Ediacaran fronds (635-541 mya)/Jennifer Hoyal Cuthill

But if this is part of the cnidarian group, and dated at 560 years ago, there is a comb jelly ancestor dated at 600 million years old.

See also: Genome map shows comb jellies had separate course of evolution from other animals

and

Core muscle proteins are present in sponges that lack true muscles

It sounds as though we don’t know enough yet about the animals of this era. For example, in the Abstract below, the find is referred to as “ Haootia quadriformis n. gen., n. sp.” Which means we do not yet know how it should be classified.

Here’s the abstract:

Muscle tissue is a fundamentally eumetazoan attribute. The oldest evidence for fossilized muscular tissue before the Early Cambrian has hitherto remained moot, being reliant upon indirect evidence in the form of Late Ediacaran ichnofossils. We here report a candidate muscle-bearing organism, Haootia quadriformis n. gen., n. sp., from approximately 560 Ma strata in Newfoundland, Canada. This taxon exhibits sediment moulds of twisted, superimposed fibrous bundles arranged quadrilaterally, extending into four prominent bifurcating corner branches. Haootia is distinct from all previously published contemporaneous Ediacaran macrofossils in its symmetrically fibrous, rather than frondose, architecture. Its bundled fibres, morphology, and taphonomy compare well with the muscle fibres of fossil and extant Cnidaria, particularly the benthic Staurozoa. Haootia quadriformis thus potentially provides the earliest body fossil evidence for both metazoan musculature, and for Eumetazoa, in the geological record. – Alex Liu et al. Haootia quadriformis n. gen., n. sp., interpreted as muscular Cnidarian impression from the Late Ediacaran period (approx. 560 Ma). Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 2014 DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2014.1202

Follow UD News at Twitter!

15 Replies to “Animal with muscles found from 560 mya (Ediacaran period)

  1. 1
    Mung says:

    That’s impossible. It’s not a rabbit, is it?

  2. 2
    Acartia_bogart says:

    “Core muscle proteins are present in sponges that lack true muscles

    Muscle proteins are also found in protozoans. I guess that the biochemistry necessary for muscle fibres started long before it was co-opted for a specialized cell type.

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    As to sponges and jellies preceding the Cambrian Explosion,

    Interestingly, ‘soft-bodied’ Jellyfish appeared suddenly, without precursor, in the fossil record a few ten million years before the Cambrian Explosion, and have remained virtually unchanged since they first appeared in the fossil record.

    Instant Body Plans: The Case of Jellyfish – July 26, 2013
    Excerpt: Cubomedusae (box jellyfish) are particularly interesting. They have eyes that are almost human-like! “As the name depicts, Cubozoans have a squarish shape with four tentacles and four rhopalia. Each rhopalium contains six eyes of four different types, two of which (the upper lens eye and the lower lens eye) are highly developed image-forming eyes with cornea, pupil, lens, and retina, much like our own….”
    “The earliest widely accepted animal fossils are rather modern-looking cnidarians, possibly from around 580 million years ago, although fossils from the Doushantuo Formation can only be dated approximately.” So it’s not clear that the dates are right, but even if they precede the main (Cambrian) explosion by 40 million years, they are already “modern-looking.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....74861.html

    Moreover, contrary to evolutionary thinking, Jellyfish appear to have essential purpose in preparing, and maintaining, the ecosystem for the Cambrian Explosion that was to follow (i.e. demonstrating ‘foresight’).

    Marine animals cause a stir – July 2009
    Excerpt: Kakani Katija and John Dabiri used field measurements of jellyfish swimming in a remote island lake, combined with a new theoretical model, to demonstrate that the contribution of living organisms to ocean mixing via this mechanism is substantial — of the same order of magnitude as winds and tides. (Winds and tides, due to their prevention of stagnation, are known to be essential for life on earth.)
    http://www.nature.com/nature/j.....30-08.html

    Moreover, the reproductive cycle of Jellyfish is ‘metamorphic’ (i.e. a complex 2 stage process),,

    Do Jellyfish go through complete metamorphosis?
    Excerpt: Yes, it looks different every stage of it’s life. Jellyfishes go through 2 stages. The polyp stage, then the medusae stage. When a jellyfish is a fertilized egg, it is called planula. When the planula is released from the pouches of the jellyfish’s tentacles, it will swim to the bottom of the ocean, attach itself, and start growing. This is known as the polyp stage. Then it will start “budding” and separate. The separated part would then grow into a jellyfish, which is known as the medusae stage.
    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Do_j.....s?#slide=2

    Moreover Jellies are unique in their complexity

    ‘Aliens of sea’ provide new insight into evolution – May 22, 2014
    Excerpt: in an in-depth look at the genes of 10 comb jelly species, researchers report that these mysterious creatures evolved a unique nervous system in a completely different way than the rest of the animal kingdom.
    In other words, the nervous system evolved more than once, a finding published Wednesday by the journal Nature that challenges long-standing theories about animal development.
    http://phys.org/news/2014-05-a.....n.html#jCp

    Amazing Jellies – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pimIbTqJLZc

    In fact Cnidaria as a group are not ‘simple’,,

    Phylum – Cnidaria (Jellyfish, Anemones, Corals, Hydras)
    Excerpt: Cnidarians all have two cell layers – an outer protective epidermis and an inner gastrodermis. Between them is a jelly-like matrix called mesoglea. These layers surround an inner cavity called the gastrovascular cavity.
    The epidermis layer is made up of many different types of cells. There are cells that contain muscles fibers (epitheliomuscular cells). These contract to allow the animal to move. Nerve cells make up a “nerve net” in the body that works with the muscle fibers to produce movement. There are also undifferentiated cells, called interstitial cells, that give rise to other cell types. Interstitial cells form eggs and sperm.
    Interstitial cells also form cnidocytes in some species (like the jellyfish) which are special fluid-filled cells called “stinging cells.” Inside each stinging cell sits a spiral fiber, called a nematocyst, that is coiled and ready to spring. If a stinging cell is touched, it triggers the nematocyst, which instantly uncoils to catch prey. Some also inject a toxin that paralyzes prey. Then the tentacles around the mouth move the prey inside where it is digested. In some species the cnidocyte cells contain spirocysts that are sticky threads that are used to catch prey or stick to surfaces. These are common in corals and sea anemones. There are also ptychocysts cells in some species, which help the animal anchor to the seabed.
    http://www.exploringnature.org.....detID=2813

    Like Jellyfish, Sponges also preceded the Cambrian explosion and are also, contrary to Darwinian thinking, found to have essential purpose for preparing, and maintaining, the ecosystem for the Cambrian Explosion of life that was to follow (i.e. foresight):

    Sponges Determine Coral Reef’s Nutrient Cycle – 2005
    Excerpt: Sponges, which have worldwide distribution in the oceans, filter water. They take up planktonic particles such as bacteria and excrete inorganic nutrients. In turn, these nutrients can facilitate the growth of marine plants and other organisms. Sponges filter water at a phenomenal rate: if the seawater were to remain stationary, the sponges would have completely pumped it away within five minutes,,,, these organisms play a key role in the marine nutrient cycle due to their incredible capacity to convert enormous quantities of organic plankton into inorganic material (nutrients).
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....085649.htm

    Barrel and Chimney Sponges Filtering Water – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7E1rq7zHLc

    Fossils of all types of sponges alive today have been found virtually unchanged in rocks dated from 635 to 580 million years ago. Moreover, some sponges with photosynthesizing endosymbionts can live in low oxygen environments and produce up to three times more oxygen than they consume. As well as more organic matter than they consume (Wikipedia).

    Sponge
    Excerpt: While most of the approximately 5,000–10,000 known species feed on bacteria and other food particles in the water, some host photosynthesizing micro-organisms as endosymbionts and these alliances often produce more food and oxygen than they consume.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sponge#Overview

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    Also of note, sponges are shown to have highly specific and stable microbiomes (which is not what evolution predicts) :

    Different sponge species (of the same genus) have highly specific, stable microbiomes – January 21, 2014
    Excerpt: The sea sponge is about as simple as an animal can get, but its associated bacterial community—its microbiome —is known to approach the complexity of the diverse microbiome in the human gut.
    Now, scientists,, have shown that different species of Hexadella sponges each have a highly specific and stable microbiome, not only in terms of the most abundant members of the associated microbial community, but the rare members as well.
    “When we looked at what microbial community occurred in a species of sponge, we always found the same community, no matter where geographically and at which depth the sponge [lived],”
    http://phys.org/news/2014-01-s.....table.html
    Hexadella (Genus)
    http://zipcodezoo.com/Key/Anim....._Genus.asp

    Though sponges demonstrate extreme stasis of morphology (conservation of shape), throughout the hundreds of millions of years they have been in the fossil record, that precludes them from being antecedent to the Cambrian Explosion or anything else for that matter, evolutionists have none-the-less tried to ‘shoe-horn’ sponges into being ancestral to the Cambrian Explosion. The evolutionists have tried to do this ‘shoe-horning’ from a very biased reading of gene sequence similarity evidence. This following article has a very good critique of their severely biased methodology of ‘cherry picking’ gene sequences:

    Explosion of the Blob – August 2010
    Excerpt: ‘By saying that nearly one-third of the genetic toolkit “emerged” in a blank period before the fossils of the first actual sponge, and that the changes “occurred” in undescribed “sponge-like forebears,” Mann shielded the fact that there is not only no evidence for such an ancestor, but no known mechanism by which genes with foresight would have emerged in single-celled creatures.’
    http://www.creationsafaris.com.....#20100805a

    More Questions for Evolutionists – August 2010
    Excerpt: First of all, we have 65% of the gene number of humans in little old sponges—an organism that appears as far back as 635 million years ago, about as old as you can get [except for bacteria]. This kind of demolishes Darwin’s argument about what he called the pre-Silurian (pre-Cambrian). 635 mya predates both the Cambrian AND the Edicarian, which comes before the Cambrian (i.e., the pre-Cambrian) IOW, out of nowhere, 18,000 animal genes. Darwinian gradualism is dealt a death blow here (unless you’re a ‘true believer”!). Here’s a quote: “It means there was an elaborate machinery in place that already had some function. What I want to know now is what were all these genes doing prior to the advent of sponge.” (Charles Marshall, director of the University of California Museum of Paleontology in Berkeley.) I want to know, too!
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....utionists/

    supplemental note:

    Dr. Stephen Meyer: Darwin’s Dilemma – The Significance of Sponge Embryos – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPs8E7y0ySs

    Macroscopic life in the Palaeoproterozoic – July 2010
    Excerpt: The Ediacaran fauna shows that soft-bodied animals were preserved in the Precambrian, even in coarse sandstone beds, suggesting that (the hypothetical transitional) fossils are not found because they were not there.
    http://www.arn.org/blogs/index.....proterozoi

  5. 5
    Acartia_bogart says:

    BA77: “Interestingly, ‘soft-bodied’ Jellyfish appeared suddenly, without precursor, in the fossil record a few ten million years before the Cambrian Explosion, and have remained virtually unchanged since they first appeared in the fossil record.”

    You really don’t see a problem with these statements, do you? First, how do you know that they appeared suddenly without a precursor? By their nature, their fossilization is almost impossible. Second, how do you know that they have not changed? Essentially, they are balls of slime, more chemistry than structure. I didn’t know that chemistry could fossilize? But I am sure that you will correct my misconceptions.

    Please do so without quote mining and a link blast.

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    You really don’t see a problem with these statements, do you?

    No,

    “First, how do you know that they appeared suddenly without a precursor?”

    Do you have evidence of any intermediary stages between sponges, jellies, and single celled amoeba or bacteria???

    “We go from single cell protozoa. which would be amoeba and things like that. Then you get into some that are a little bit bigger, still single cell, and then you get aggregates, they’re still individual cells that aggregate together. They don’t seem to have much in the way of cooperation,,, but when you really talk about a functioning organism, that has more than just one type of cell, you are talking about a sponge and you can have hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of cells. So we don’t really have organisms that function with say two different types of cells, but there is only five total. We don’t have anything like that.”
    – Dr. Raymond G. Bohlin – quote taken from 31:00 minute mark of this following video
    Natural Limits to Biological Change 2/2 – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vo3OKSGeFRQ

    Since there is no evidence of intermediaries, then I am fully justified in saying they appeared suddenly without precursor.

    If you want to refute the claim then produce fossil evidence of intermediaries.,,, Whining because you don’t like the implications of metazoans appearing suddenly, without precursors, in the fossil record is a personal philosophical problem that you have and is not my concern.

    “By their nature, their fossilization is almost impossible.”

    And yet they managed to be fossilized.,,, Even the embryos of pre-Cambrian sponges and ‘soft bodied’ Ediacaran fauna managed to be fossilized. Go figure,,,

    Dr. Stephen Meyer: Darwin’s Dilemma – The Significance of Sponge Embryos – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPs8E7y0ySs

    Macroscopic life in the Palaeoproterozoic – July 2010
    Excerpt: The Ediacaran fauna shows that soft-bodied animals were preserved in the Precambrian, even in coarse sandstone beds, suggesting that (the hypothetical transitional) fossils are not found because they were not there.
    http://www.arn.org/blogs/index.....proterozoi

    Second, how do you know that they have not changed?

    Ancient fossils compared to modern – pictures
    http://qvcproject.blogspot.com.....ies_2.html

    Please do so without quote mining and a link blast.

    Actually, you should do your own research so I wouldn’t have to correct you.

  7. 7
    ppolish says:

    Postcursors are pretty scarce also. Heck, if you believe in “common descent” then 98% of present day critters should be related to this old dude.

  8. 8
    tjguy says:

    AB says:

    I guess that the biochemistry necessary for muscle fibres started long before it was co-opted for a specialized cell type.

    Yup. Co-option is what many scientists believe in.
    Did it happen in this case or any other case for that matter?
    I doubt it, but it is hard to conclusively show either way. That is simply the evolutionary interpretation used by many to try to explain the data. How accurate it is, no one really knows!

  9. 9
    Acartia_bogart says:

    PPolish:

    Postcursors are pretty scarce also. Heck, if you believe in “common descent” then 98% of present day critters should be related to this old dude.

    How do you figure this?

  10. 10
    ppolish says:

    I was being sarcastic, Ab. But truly, common descent tells us to expect more postcursors the further we travel down the tree of life.

    But who are the postcursors here? Some mollusks and snails? I will get more excited when PreCambrian Sea Monkey is found.

  11. 11
    bornagain77 says:

    Vertebrate Fish found in lower Cambrian:

    Metaspriggina: Vertebrates Found in Cambrian Explosion – August 29, 2014
    Excerpt: Now that some months have passed since the discovery of another rich trove of Cambrian fossils 26 miles from the Burgess Shale, scientists are starting to publish findings from the new Marble Canyon site. One amazing find just published by Simon Conway Morris and Jean-Bernard Caron is putting more bang in the Cambrian explosion.,,,
    ,,,it was a vertebrate fish, right there in the Lower Cambrian! Imagine a vertebrate fish, with a skeleton, binocular vision, muscles, nerves, gut and blood vessels: it is so complex compared to what came before, it makes the suddenness and explosive increase in complexity undeniable.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....89471.html

  12. 12
    bornagain77 says:

    OT: Amazing Resonance Experiment! – video (varying geometric patterns correlate to changing frequencies)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvJAgrUBF4w

  13. 13
    Acartia_bogart says:

    ppolish, my apologies. I didn’t didn’t notice the ‘post’ in ‘postcursors’. That definitely changes the meaning of the sentence.

  14. 14
    ppolish says:

    Great links as usual BA77 thanks. Jellyfish are now “Floating Angels” in my mind. Until I get stung:)

  15. 15
    Querius says:

    bornagain77,

    Yes, another thank you.

    The video posted by Dr. Raymond Bohlin is a treasure! I especially liked the part at 28:15 where he talks about how genomic researchers are apparently dealing with the evolutionary implications of some of the latest discoveries: “They’re not talking about it.”

    -Q

Leave a Reply