520-Million Years Old Hearts Were Far More Complex Than Current

#History

Tue, Apr 29th, 2014 21:00 by capnasty NEWS

According to Bioscience Technology, researchers report that half-billion-year-old hearts were "one of evolution’s first templates for modern cardiovascular systems," and have significantly streamlined since.

Said the paleontologist via email: “As we know, most soft tissue of animals tends to decay away once the animals died, so often only the hard parts of animal body (bones, shells, teeth, etc.) are preserved in fossils. However, under very exceptional circumstances, soft tissue and anatomical organ system can also be preserved in fossils.”

Fossils from Chengjiang in China, such as these, “are famous for such exceptional preservation. Even so, there was a wide assumption that only the digestive system can withstand fossilization. This view has now been challenged by our recent discovery of both neural and cardiovascular structures from the Cambrian arthropod F. protensa,” Ma said.

Chengjiang is now being called an area that underwent a kind of underwater Pompeii, rife with sandstorms that did not allow plant life to take hold, but buried animal life in such a way as to uniquely preserve it.

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