Last year, in Greenland, a team of researchers has discovered 15 fossilized brains of 500-million-year-old sea creatures of the species scientifically known as Kerygmachela Kierkegaardi. However, just a few days ago the study has been published in the journal Nature.
The study describes the appearance of the Kerygmachela Kierkegaardi sea creatures
This extinct species lived in the oceans of our planet about 500 million years ago, in the Cambrian period. Their heads were rounded, were located between the front appendages, had 11 pairs of fins, and a long back spine.
The study’s report describes 15 fossilized brains belonging to the Kerygmachela Kierkegaardi species which have been found at the Buen Formation, in Sirius Passet, in Greenland.
The 15 fossilized brains provide important data about the evolution of other species
The 15 fossils show a tiny brain with nerve endings towards the eyes and toward the front appendages.
“It has been conjectured, according to the evolutionary evidence, that the ancestor of the vertebrates and arthropods had a tripartite brain, which can be refuted by the fossil evidence that we present here. In addition, based on the discovery of the eyes of the Kerygmachela, we suggest that complex composite eyes of arthropods evolved from simple eyes or ocelli present in Onychophora and tardigrades, and not through the incorporation of a set of modified members. The compound eyes of arthropods evolved from simple eyes,” reported the research team, which included the University of Bristol’ researcher, Jakob Vinther.
What the authors of the study say is that the relatively simple brain of the Kerygmachela organism, incredibly well conserved in these fossils, possessed only the protocerebrum, the main part of the tripartite brain of the living arthropods, which innervated the ocelli.
These 15 fossilized brains of 500-million-year-old sea creatures were the firsts of their kind that have ever been discovered and present nervous systems that are much common than expected by their discoverers.