Wednesday, 24 September 2014

No Ancestors for Soft-Bodied Ediacaran Animal

Haliclystus stejnegeri is a stalked jellyfish that still lives in our time. Image courtesy of Minette Layne, Flickr.

Joel Kontinen

Far from lending support to the orthodox Darwinian dogma of slow gradual change, the fossil record speaks instead of the sudden appearance of fully-formed animals.

The Cambrian Explosion was an enigma for Charles Darwin and it still is a headache for some of his latter-day followers.

Recent discoveries have actually made things worse for evolution. The earliest animals with muscles already appear in the Ediacaran, i.e. before the Cambrian Explosion.

According to Science Daily:

The fossil, dating from 560 million years ago, was discovered in Newfoundland, Canada. On the basis of its four-fold symmetry, morphological characteristics, and what appear to be some of the earliest impressions of muscular tissue, researchers from the University of Cambridge, in collaboration with the University of Oxford and the Memorial University of Newfoundland, have interpreted it as a cnidarian: the group which contains modern animals such as corals, sea anemones and jellyfish. The results are published today (27 August) in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.”

There’s not much new under the sun. While Haootia quadriformis, the new Edicaran animal, seems to have no ancestors, it resembles some stalked jellyfish that still live in our time. It is hardly a good poster boy (or girl) for evolution.


Animals first flex their muscles: Earliest fossil evidence for animals with muscles. ScienceDaily August 26, 2014.