FOUND: Millipede fossil discovered is world's oldest known land animal from over 42,500,000 ago
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The fossils of a Millipede-like organism were discovered in Scotland last week, in what is believed to have inhabited the earth over Four Crore and twenty five lakh years ago during the Silurian period. The remains of a small insect-like animal with a long thin body divided into many sections, each with two pairs of legs, were found on the island of Kerrera in the Scottish Inner Hebrides.
Kampecaris obanensis, as the organism is known as now, reportedly inhabited a lakeside environment and likely ate decomposing plants.
According to an acclaimed Paleontologist Michael Brookfield of the University of Texas, soil worms preceded the Kampecaris about twenty five lakh years before them, roughly four crore and fifty lakh years since now.
According to the news agency Reuters, Kampecaris, about an inch (2.5 cm) long with a segmented body, resembled modern millipedes but was a member of an extinct group and is not ancestral to millipedes alive today. Its legs were not found preserved in the fossil.
Life first evolved in the waters of our planet before they got salinised due to various reasons, with an explosion of diversity believed to have started roughly five crore and fourty lakh years ago. It took hundreds of thousands of years for life to transgress onto the land, beginning with plants like organisms approximately during that time. A Reuters report says that the later advent of plants with stems like Cooksonia helped usher in more complex terrestrial ecosystems.
The first land vertebrates - amphibians that evolved from fish with oxygen absorbing fins which inhabited shallow waters near terrestrial systems -- showed up about three crore and seventy five lakh years ago -- ancestors of the modern day reptiles, birds and mammals alive today including our species, appeared as recently as three lakh years ago.
Posted By: Abhinav Gupta