World's oldest footprints found in China

But what about Earth - when did animals first leave footprints here?

The fossilised footprints were discovered by a team of scientists studying trackways and burrows in China.

An global team of scientists, including researchers from the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, and Virginia Tech in the United States, conducted the study. This is considered the earliest animal fossil footprint record.

The rock layers where the fossils were found date between 551 million and 541 million years ago, suggesting the footprints were made some time between those dates.

This places them perhaps even 10 million years before the "Cambrian Explosion" (roughly 541 million years ago), the moment in time which sparked the incredible evolution of life that led to the awesome diversity of species that we see today.

"These trace fossils represent the earliest known trackways". That's hundreds of millions of years before dinosaurs started roaming Earth, about 245 million years ago.

The scientists are unsure whether the creature had many legs or just two, and whether it was a member of the arthropod group, which includes bumblebees and spiders, or annelids, which contains modern-day bristle worms. The new findings suggest animals evolved primitive "arms" and "legs" earlier than previously thought. In fact, the China discovery represents one of the earliest known records of animals evolving appendages.

Sister of Dutch Queen Maxima found dead in Argentina
She had also worked for the social development ministry in Buenos Aires province and at a United Nations office in Panama. Her father Jorge Zorreguieta, Argentina's former agriculture minister, died a year ago .

Previously no evidence of limbed animals has been found that pre-dates the "Cambrian Explosion", the sudden surge in diversity that occurred on Earth about 510 to 541 million years ago.

Professor Shuhai Xiao, a geobiologist at Virginia Tech University, told The Guardian: "Animals use their appendages to move around, to build their homes, to fight, to feed, and sometimes to help mate". "It is important to know when the first appendages appeared, and in what animals, because this can tell us when and how animals began to change to the Earth in a particular way".

The trackways' characteristics indicate that a bilaterian animal - that is, a creature with bilateral symmetry that has a head at one end, a back end at the other, and a symmetrical right and left side - made the tracks.

The 550-million-year-old tracks measure only a few millimetres in width, and consist of two rows of imprints arranged in what the researchers describe as a "poorly organised series or repeated groups", which could be due to variations in gait, pace, or interactions with the surface of what was once an ancient riverbed.

The animal appears to have paused from time to time, since the tracks appear to be connected to burrows that may have been dug into the sediment, "perhaps to mine oxygen and food", the report said.

Trackways and burrows excavated in situ from the Ediacaran Dengying Formation.

Related:

  • Amazon Unveils 'Fire TV Cube' With Alexa, 4K Streaming

    Amazon Unveils 'Fire TV Cube' With Alexa, 4K Streaming

    Priced at $120-it's $90 right now for Prime members-the Fire TV Cube is now the most expensive Fire TV product. This means you can ask Alexa to find sci-fi movies, play movie trailers or show more results.

    Simona Halep beats Muguruza at French Open to reach 4th Slam final

    Stephens beat her fellow American and great friend Madison Keys 6-4 6-4 in a repeat of last year's US Open final. Coverage: Daily live radio and text commentaries on BBC Radio 5 live, the BBC Sport website and app.

    Samsung may unveil new triple camera system with the Galaxy S10 model

    The phone will be backed by a 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage, which can be further expanded via microSD card slot. While the former model comes in Black and White colour variants, the latter is available in Black and Blue colour models.
  • Mesa officers placed on leave after video shows them repeatedly punching man

    Mesa officers placed on leave after video shows them repeatedly punching man

    Batista has stated that he chose to release the video before it surfaced online in order to offer some context on the incident. Batista said the incident is under investigation and that the four unidentified officers were placed on paid leave.
    Many Breast Cancer Patients May Not Need Chemotherapy

    Many Breast Cancer Patients May Not Need Chemotherapy

    The treatments "weren't pleasant", she concedes. "I lost my hair". "I'm a firm believer in medical research". He said "Oncologists have been waiting for these results, it will affect practice on Monday morning".
    Kate Spade’s husband says she battled demons but death was complete shock

    Kate Spade’s husband says she battled demons but death was complete shock

    Together, Andy and Kate founded the Kate Spade brand, which rose to prominence in the '90s with its vibrant line of handbags . She was the kindest person I've ever known and my best friend for 35 years. "We were co-parenting our attractive daughter".
  • The Best Deals in Microsoft's E3 Sale

    The Best Deals in Microsoft's E3 Sale

    Full games will start as low as $19.99, plus people can save 50% or more on dozens of season passes, expansions, and DLC. The highlight of the sale is the $50 discount on the Xbox One X , bringing its price down to $449.99.
    Lyon ready to sell Nabil Fekir to Liverpool

    Lyon ready to sell Nabil Fekir to Liverpool

    That is the revelation made by Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas following reports that the Reds were closing in on the playmaker. However, Fekir has never started a competitive match for France so is unlikely to be a key player at the 2018 World Cup.
    Reese Witherspoon Confirms 'Legally Blonde 3' With Pink Bikini Clip

    Reese Witherspoon Confirms 'Legally Blonde 3' With Pink Bikini Clip

    Reese Witherspoon confirmed she is returning as the ditzy, yet lovable lawyer in Legally Blonde 3 . Fans of the original films will recognized the look from Elle's Harvard admissions video.
  • Philippines' Duterte says will quit if enough women protest

    Philippines' Duterte says will quit if enough women protest

    Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte allegedly kissed a Filipina during his South Korea visit. She said there was "no malice" in the presidential kiss, which was meant to dazzle the crowd.
    Hitman 2 announced for November, see the first trailer

    Hitman 2 announced for November, see the first trailer

    The game will include several worldwide locations, including Miami, which is the settings for today's reveal. The entire game will be available on launch day, which is planned for November 13 of this year.
    Diego Schwartzman Reaches French Open Quarterfinals With Stunning Win

    Diego Schwartzman Reaches French Open Quarterfinals With Stunning Win

    During one of the changeovers, a visibly bothered Schwartzman chose to take up his concern to chair umpire Marijana Veljovic. Come on, shut up", the 11th-seeded Schwartzman moaned during a changeover.

Comments

Latest news

TOOTHLESS Makes a Love Connection in HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON
How to Train Your Dragon 3 hits theaters on March 1st, 2019, so this trailer is going to have to keep fans going for a bit longer. Regardless, this new trailer is an awesome first look at the last movie in the beloved franchise.

NTSB updates on fatal Model X crash
The investigation is ongoing and could lead to the NTSB issuing new safety recommendations aimed at preventing similar accidents. Interested in solar? Get a solar cost estimate and find out how much a solar system would cost for your home or business.

Donald Glover, Ryan Gosling Lead Shortlist For New Willy Wonka Movie
According to Collider , Glover is on the shortlist of stars for the titular role, which also includes Ryan Gosling and Ezra Miller .

Feminist Icon Rudy Giuliani Has Some Thoughts on Stormy Daniels
Later, according to the lawsuit, Cohen texted that the "wise men" decided it wasn't "smart for her to do any interviews".

Scientists found loads more molecules associated with life on Mars
Organic molecules are the building blocks of life, though they can also be produced by chemical reactions unrelated to life. The two studies build on and advance smaller detections of atmospheric methane and ancient organic compounds on Mars.

Warriors Are Halfway To Third NBA Title In 4 Years
Stephen Curry was the chief architect scoring 16 of his 33 points in the final quarter to ensure a commanding victory. But during Sunday's Game 2 win, the Warriors weren't happy with one incident involving Cleveland's Kendrick Perkins.

Warriors vs. Cavaliers, Game 3 on Wednesday night
And that allowed Kevin Durant to conserve some energy en route to a stunning game-high 43 points on 65.2 percent shooting. In his series debut, Iguodala had eight points on three-for-four shooting, two rebounds, one assist - and one scare.

Cahill, Arzani in Australia's final World Cup squad
However, they have become a more consistent side at the turn of the millenium, qualifying for all World Cups since the year 2006. I wish that Daniel will make Australia proud of him and that he'll make the soccer family proud of him too".

Thanks To Warriors Game 3 Win, America Gets Free Tacos
All people have to do is show up to their local Taco Bell and ask for the taco to receive one Doritos Locos taco free of charge. Taco Bell's sports-centric deals have become a popular promotion for the chain.

First lady Melania Trump returns to public eye after 'little rough patch'
Melania Trump, 47, had not been seen in public since May 10 after she received kidney treatment for a "benign" condition. During her recovery from surgery they reported everything from near death, to facelift, to left the W.H.

Samantha Bee apologizes again for her ‘potty-mouthed insult’ of Ivanka Trump
Media figures piled on Bee for the remark. "I talk fast, but you'll be fine", she said. "I hate that this distracted from them". She added that she would "anything" to help the kids in detention centers and apologized for the distraction.

Aamir is a huge fan of this Southern star
While it's believed that Kaala will also help boost Rajinikanth's political career now that it's finally begun. The film, however, will have its full-fledged release in the state on Friday, The New Indian Express reported.

Bud Cauley 'thankful to be alive' after scary vehicle accident
This season on the PGA Tour, Cauley had posted two top-10 finishes and earned $900,591 in prize money in 17 tournaments. He withdrew from the event and did not return to the Tour for a month.

Cavs guard Rodney Hood speaks out after playoff DNP streak
Therefore, Game 3 might depend on whether or not he can provide offense for Cleveland alongside James, Love and company. That gives all of us a lot of confidence that he can come in and make an impact".

No, Canada didn't burn down the White House
Some people might think the War of 1812 inspired the famous "1812 Overture" by the Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Rebuffing the criticism down the line, Mr Trump reportedly shot back: " Didn't you guys burn down the White House? ".

Other news