back to article Cambridge boffins reveal prehistoric prawn monster

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 …

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Bronze badge

... nervous system extended beyond the head.

So the earliest animals had a functioning head on top of a paralyzed body? Evolution is more complicated than I had thought.

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Silver badge

Re: ... nervous system extended beyond the head.

I suggest intelligent design. That's nice and simple.

And bollocks of course.

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Boffin

Re: ... nervous system extended beyond the head.

Not really. Although the expression is very awkward, this fossil points to the start of the specialisation of the anterior segments of the basic copy/paste worm shape into something other than locomotion.

Very crudely put, it's the start of the development of an actual "head" on the front end of an animal, starting what is now the basic body plan of every single vertebrate, insect and arthropod alive today.

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Silver badge

Re: ... nervous system extended beyond the head.

If the 'body' is just a digestive tube with food processing and fat storage, then it doesn't need any kind of nervous system. Even a primitive heart could have evolved to beat at a constant rate. A chemical messaging and feedback-control system does a good job of controlling much of our 'modern' bodies with no awareness or nervous system control.

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

My teenage son has those too......

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Joke

At least he does not shovel it into his nose or ears.

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Gold badge
WTF?

"prehistoric prawn monster"

I'm finding it difficult to think of something that you can boil and which is then particularly tasty with cocktail sauce as a "monster".....

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Silver badge
Happy

Re: "prehistoric prawn monster"

Given that it was found in China, stir frying with ginger, garlic and a variety of vegetables is more appropriate. Just add a dash of light soy sauce and rice wine vinegar at the end.

Darn, now I am hungry

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pictures or it didn't happen

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Happy

http://i.livescience.com/images/i/000/037/222/original/arthropod-fossil-2.jpg?1361986588

Is it just me, or did someone draw a half human face on it?

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Coat

Was it that spanish woman that 'restores' frescoes?

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Boffin

Can they not

put a ruler at the edge of the picture?

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Headmaster

Re: Can they not

Apparently yes, they are perfectly capable of not putting a ruler at the edge of the picture.

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Anonymous Coward

China invented everything!

First they invented the Prawn Cracker; now, it seems, they invented the bloody prawn!

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Coat

Have they named it yet?

Why not Zoidberg?

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Re: Have they named it yet?

Fuxianhuiid is a perfectly good name... if said with a Glaswegian accent.

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Silver badge

Looks like an early representation of C'thul'hu

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Boffin

Anomalocaris ancestor?

The description of those forelimbs and their function sounds pretty familiar... Or maybe it's just the "prawn" part that made me think of it :)

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