All living creatures, including humans, have the same ancestor. It is a well-spread theory and somehow the common belief for those not believing in the creationist theory. But it is hard to imagine that, at some point int the evolution, we were a worm.
And yet, we were. Ikaria warioota is the name of the 555-million-year-old common ancestor. Ikaria warioota means meeting place in the language of contemporary Indigenous Australian.
Traces of Ikaria warioota were previously found, better said burrows they made, but the actual fossil was only recently discovered on a rock in South Australia. And not just one, but more than 100 fossils of them. The traces observed on the ancient rock dragged the suspicion of scientists from the University of California Riverside that they might be Ikaria warioota remains.
A common ancestor of life on Earth was found in Australia
NASA got involved and funded the use of a three-dimensional laser that modeled into 3D what seems to be the former body of the worm. It proved to be a cylindrical body as big as a grain seed, with a consistent and regular shape. It had head, tail, grooved muscles, and it moved just la a worm, by constricting those grooved muscles. It also turned as it progressed.
It lived on the thin layers of well-oxygenated sand on the ocean floor and most likely fed on organic matter and had features such as mouth, gut, and anus. It was a bilaterian, meaning it had a mouth and an anus at each end of the body.
Bilaterians represent the stage of evolution that ciphered the human bilateral symmetry, such as our left and right side of the face and body that are mirror images of each other. “Burrows of Ikaria occur lower than anything else. It’s the oldest fossil we get with this type of complexity,” said Professor Mary Droser from the University of California, Riverside.