Feeds

Cambridge boffins reveal prehistoric prawn monster

Chinese fossil 'Fuxianhuiid' shows earliest nervous system extending beyond the head

Top three mobile application threats

Scientists in China are celebrating another key discovery after unearthing the fossilised remains of a 520 million year-old arthropod, with what they claim is the earliest example of a nervous system extended beyond the head.

The prawn-like sea creature was found preserved sideways on, enabling Javier Ortega-Hernández and his team of Cambridge University colleagues to get a really good look at the beast – known as a fuxianhuiid.

"Since biologists rely heavily on organisation of head appendages to classify arthropod groups, such as insects and spiders, our study provides a crucial reference point for reconstructing the evolutionary history and relationships of the most diverse and abundant animals on Earth," said Ortega-Hernández in a statement obtained by LiveScience.

"This is as early as we can currently see into arthropod limb development."

The fuxianhuiid hails from the early Cambrian period – a time of rapid evolution when complex, multicellular organisms became more commonplace - specifically around 50 million years before creatures first crawled out from the sea onto land.

The fossil apparently reveals a creature with primitive limbs under its head, which are thought to have been used for shovelling food into its mouth as it wandered along the sea bed.

The discovery, which was published in Nature last Wednesday, is one of many stunningly well preserved fossils found in a site in south-west China near Kunming called Xiaoshiba. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Fancy joining Reg hack on quid-a-day challenge?
Recruiting now for charity starvation diet
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
KILLER ROBOTS, DNA TAMPERING and PEEPING CYBORGS: the future looks bright!
Americans optimistic about technology despite being afraid of EVERYTHING
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.