Our earliest ever ancestor had a big mouth and spewed – er –

Humanity’s earliest ancestor was dug up a while ago. Well, when I say ‘our’ ancestor, it’s also the ancestor of fish, amphibians, reptiles and starfish among other things.

It’s  540 million years old, it’s called Saccorhytus coronarius, and it’s a primitive deuterosome, a type is thought to be one of the earliest common ancestors of quite a bit of complex animal life on Earth, including chordata (vertebrates – like us, lizards, fish etc), echinodermata (sea cucumbers, among other things) and hemichordata (grapolites).

Saccorhytus was about 1mm across. It lived in Cambrian-era sands, and its main feature was an enormous mouth (well, enormous by comparison with its size). This also appears to have been its only feature – as in, it lacked a system for expelling waste, other than back out through the mouth.

Hmmn… big mouth, out of which flows excrement? Why yes, this clearly is ancestral to humans. Some of them, anyway…

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2017

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