Newon long-extinct ocean creatures from the remote past reveal more biological coincidences than would be expected with animals today, including humans. The first multicellular organisms lacked limbs and even heads, but some of them still remain within us. The study was carried out by a team that includes Mary Droser and Scott Evans, both from the University of California at Riverside, United States, and has focused on animals from about 555 million years ago, at the end of the Ediacaran period.

As Droser explains, none of these animals had a head or skeleton. Many of them probably looked like extra-thick, rounded bath rugs sitting at the bottom of the sea. These animals are so strange and so different from today’s animals that it is difficult to assign them to modern categories of living organisms without more help than analyzing their physical appearance. However, access to well-preserved fossil records has allowed the study authors to relate the appearance of those animals and their probable behaviors with the genetic makeup of current living beings, thus revealing that these creatures of the Ediacaran period share genes with current animals. including the human being.

For their analysis, the researchers focused on four animals representative of the more than 40 recognized species of the Ediacaran period. The size of these creatures ranged from a few millimeters to almost a meter in length. Apparently, some of these animals were able to repair damaged parts of their body through a process known as apoptosis. The very genes involved in this process are key components of the human immune system, helping, for example, to eliminate virus-infected cells and precancerous cells. The study, entitled Developmental processes in Ediacaran macrofossils, has been published in the academic journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Source NCYT of Amazing.