Oldest Known Footprints by Animal Uncovered in China

By M. Grace, June 08, 2018 20:06 PM

The oldest known "footprints" left by an animal have been uncovered in southern China.(afp)

The oldest footprints left by an animal have been recently uncovered in southern China.

The footprints were found in the Yangtze Gorges area of South China. The rocks  they come from are dated between 551 million and 541 million years old.

The identity of the creature that made the 546-million-year-old footprints is still unknown but reports claimed that it came from the period when the earliest animals are thought to have evolved.

Chinese team researched about it and it appeared in Science Advances  Journal. The members of the research team can't figure out whether the animal has two or more legs but they assume that the footprints may belong to a bilaterian- animals characterized by having paired legs.

The fossil reportedly consists of two rows of imprints that represent the earliest known record of an animal that has legs.

"Previously identified footprints are between 540 and 530 million years old. The new fossils are probably up to 10 million years older," the study's co-author Zhe Chen, from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, told AFP.

"At least three living groups of animals have paired appendages (represented by arthropods, such as bumblebees; annelids, such as bristle worms; and tetrapods, such as humans)," he added.

He also said that arthropods and annelids or their ancestors are possible.

According to the team, the animal appeared to have paused time to time as the footprints were connected to burrows. This movement tells them that the animal may have been hunting to obtain food. 

 

 

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