Upending Vertebrate Origins

22 March 2021

At https://phys.org/news/2021-03-long-accepted-theory-vertebrate-upended-fo… … the long accepted theory of mainstream vertebrate origins is taking a bashing by some paleontologists it would seem. This comes after the discovery of fossilised fish larvae – rather, lamprey larvae. It is dated 360 million years ago – even a long time in geological time scales. The research is published in the journal Nature – see https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03305-9 .. the old theory  much favoured for some time is that blind filter feeding lampreys are a halfway house between invertebrates and fish, and lampreys in the modern world are a sort of holdover of evolutionary processes. The new fossil discovery have led to the discovery  that ancient lamprey hatchlings resemble modern lamprey adults. They appear to be quite different to known modern  lamprey hatchlings, whose appearance, worm like, gave rise to the evolutionary speculation. This means that modern lamprey larvae cannot be used for projected vertebrate lineages – no matter how primitive they might appear to be. Fossils of lampreys from Illinois, Montana, and South Africa were consulted in the research findings, allowing the team to look at different stages of lamprey development in the fossil record, and therefore the lamprey life cycle.

William sent in another interesting linke – www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/scientists-dinosaur-fossil-atop-nest-211435228.html … the discovery of a dinosaur sitting on top of a nest of eggs, fossilised in situ. Rather than dwell how the fossilisation process could encompass a mother dinosaur sitting on her eggs the authors of the piece are enthused, instead, by the resemblance between nest sitting and birds. The idea that birds evolved from dinosaurs is the new kid on the block, and dominates a lot of comments on dinosaurs. This is not to say they did or did not but surely a dinosaur becoming fossilised very quickly, as suggested by the position on top of eggs in a nest, should have been the most urgent question.

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