Science & Technology

New freshwater fossil offers insights into arthropod evolution

Beijing, May 30 (EFE).- A team of scientists has discovered a new freshwater fossil in China that offers new insights into the origin and evolution of terrestrial or freshwater arthropods.

The fossil, discovered in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, is the earliest known freshwater arthropod in China and outside the Laurasia, an ancient continental mass in the Northern Hemisphere.

The discovery suggests that arthropods – invertebrates with segmented bodies and limbs, could have been the earliest groups to colonize the land, the state-run newspaper Global Times reported Tuesday.

The new finding expands the geographical distribution of Late Silurian terrestrial or freshwater arthropods, besides offering insight into the complete symbiotic ecosystem of plants and animals on land during that period.

“The discovery of this fossil in Xinjiang region has effectively pushed the timeline of arthropod colonization of land further back,” said Xu Honghe, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Researchers consider the discovery a significant development in understanding the early evolutionary history of arthropods and the adaptation to different environments by these ancient creatures.

The team will continue its research on the fossil remains to learn more about the diversity and ecology of arthropods during the Late Silurian. EFE


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