95 million year old fossils reveal earlier origin for modern octopusMarch 18th, 2009 - 3:07 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, March 18 (ANI): Scientists have found five specimens of 95 million year old fossils of Cretaceous octopuses, which reveals a much earlier origin for the modern octopus.
The five specimens have been found by palaeontologists in Cretaceous rocks in Lebanon, which have astonishingly preserved the octopuses eight arms with traces of muscles and those characteristic rows of suckers.
The chances of an octopus corpse surviving long enough to be fossilized are so small that prior to this discovery only a single fossil species was known, and from fewer specimens than octopuses have legs.
Even traces of the ink and internal gills are present in some specimens.
These are sensational fossils, extraordinarily well preserved, said Dirk Fuchs of the Freie University Berlin, lead author of the report.
But, what surprised the scientists most was how similar the specimens are to modern octopus.
These things are 95 million years old, yet one of the fossils is almost indistinguishable from living species, they said.
This provides important evolutionary information.
According to scientists, The more primitive relatives of octopuses had fleshy fins along their bodies. The new fossils are so well preserved that they show, like living octopus, that they didnt have these structures.
This pushes back the origins of modern octopus by tens of millions of years, and while this is scientifically significant, perhaps the most remarkable thing about these fossils is that they exist at all. (ANI)
- Fossilized primitive pregnant lizard found in China - Jul 21, 2011
- 500m-year-old squid-like carnivore no more a mystery - May 27, 2010
- Scientists discover T. Rex's feathered kin - Apr 08, 2012
- Humans evolved from fish into two-legged species - Oct 07, 2011
- Dinos were pretty picky when it came to where they roamed about - Oct 16, 2010
- New dinosaur species found in China - Mar 20, 2010
- Research suggests humans evolved from prehistoric sharks - Jun 14, 2012
- Brains of birds have a dinosaur source: Study - Apr 13, 2011
- Chemical remains of 150-mn-year-old 'dino-bird' isolated - May 11, 2010
- Largest-ever fossil spider from Jurassic era found - Apr 21, 2011
- Experts debate over species of dino fossil - Oct 12, 2010
- Oz fossil discovery offers clues on human evolution - Sep 23, 2010
- 525-mn-year-old fossil sheds new light on primitive sea creatures - Mar 25, 2011
- Palaeontologists describe plant-eating dinosaur - May 27, 2010
- Tiny fossil part reveals biggest-ever toothed pterosaur - Oct 16, 2011
Tags: corpse, cretaceous rocks, dirk fuchs, fins, fossil species, fossils, freie university berlin, internal gills, lebanon, million years, muscles, octopus, octopuses, origins, relatives, scientists, specimens, suckers, tens, traces