Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

520-Million-Year-Old Arthropod May Have Had the First Modern Brain

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the wile-away-the-hours dept.

China 60

An anonymous reader writes "Scientists say that the recently discovered 520 million year old insect brain, the oldest brain ever discovered in an arthropod, is surprisingly complex for its age, and may be the earliest example on record of a modern brain structure. Hailed as a 'transformative discovery,' researchers said that the 3-inch-long fossilized extinct arthropod found in Yunnan Province, China, shows that insects evolved to have complex brains significantly earlier than previously thought. Researchers said that the fossilized brain, which looks very similar to brains of modern insects, may provide a missing link that offers new insight on the evolutionary history of arthropods, a group of invertebrates that includes insects, spiders and crustaceans."

cancel ×

60 comments

Damn corporate web blocker! (0)

Chrisq (894406) | about 2 years ago | (#41617417)

Access has been blocked because of:
Tru-View has categorised this page as Drugs

Re:Damn corporate web blocker! (4, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | about 2 years ago | (#41617427)

Access has been blocked because of: Tru-View has categorised this page as Drugs

Mind you the funniest one I have come across was a page about "sharp calculators [sharp-world.com] classed as weapons. Well I suppose a (literally) sharp calculator could be!

Re:Damn corporate web blocker! (2)

azalin (67640) | about 2 years ago | (#41617557)

The feather (or pen) is mightier than the sword, so calculators (especially sharp ones) should be considered dangerous.
On the other hand I'm have some trouble with the exact level of dangerousness. If pen beats sword (and thereby knife and dagger), what would a pocket calculator beat?

Re:Damn corporate web blocker! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41617611)

If pen beats sword (and thereby knife and dagger), what would a pocket calculator beat?

Barack Obama at calculating the deficit?

Re:Damn corporate web blocker! (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 2 years ago | (#41618391)

If pen beats sword (and thereby knife and dagger), what would a pocket calculator beat?

Barack Obama at calculating the deficit?

Congress at creating a budget.

Re:Damn corporate web blocker! (2)

Rufty (37223) | about 2 years ago | (#41617623)

While a sharp calculator may have a certain level of dangerousness, to really cause damage you need a spreadsheet [slashdot.org] .

Re:Damn corporate web blocker! (2)

azalin (67640) | about 2 years ago | (#41617733)

Nice one... Still the question of what weapon a calculator would beat remains unanswered. A pointy stick, a knife, assault rifle, sarin gas or an icbm? The whole issue is rather tricky. In close combat a pocket calculator is rather worthless, even if thrown in a slingshot. If it is used to calculate ballistic flight paths for artillery things change...

Re:Damn corporate web blocker! (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 years ago | (#41620993)

While a sharp calculator may have a certain level of dangerousness, to really cause damage you need a spreadsheet [slashdot.org] .

Spreadsheets are truly the weapons of math destruction.

Holy dilemma, batman! (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 2 years ago | (#41617891)

But if it wasn't sharp it'd infringe Apple's patents.

Re:Damn corporate web blocker! (5, Informative)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 2 years ago | (#41617429)

You didnt miss much. Just some conclusions about the evolution of insects:

They explained that up until now, research on insects has been divided into two camps. While some researchers believe that insects evolved from the same ancestor that gave rise to malacostracans, a group of crustaceans that include crabs and shrimp, the majority of scientists believe that they were derived from a group of crustaceans called branchiopods, a species that includes include brine shrimp, which have a simpler brain anatomy than malacostracans.

However, researchers from the latest study say that the new finding shows that insects did in fact evolve from creatures that already possessed complex brains.
Read more at http://www.medicaldaily.com/articles/12631/20121010/520-million-year-old-bug-creature-first.htm#hclmrDOPXj8WW6PR.99 [medicaldaily.com]

Re:Damn corporate web blocker! (2, Funny)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | about 2 years ago | (#41617583)

You didnt miss much. Just some conclusions about the evolution of insects:

I could have got that watching the conservative party conference

Re:Damn corporate web blocker! (1)

azalin (67640) | about 2 years ago | (#41617665)

You didnt miss much. Just some conclusions about the evolution of insects:

What is this evolution you talk of, and how can this insect be 520 million years old, if earth is only 6000 years old?
I still don't know whether to laugh or cry, when I hear people try to proclaim creationism as science. Otoh trying to get it into the classroom pisses me of for sure.

Re:Damn corporate web blocker! (2)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 2 years ago | (#41618419)

You didnt miss much. Just some conclusions about the evolution of insects:

What is this evolution you talk of, and how can this insect be 520 million years old, if earth is only 6000 years old?

I still don't know whether to laugh or cry, when I hear people try to proclaim creationism as science. Otoh trying to get it into the classroom pisses me of for sure.

Don't be absurd. Evolution is a Lie from Hell. I have that straight from the congressional panel on Science and Technology.

Re:Damn corporate web blocker! (0)

retroworks (652802) | about 2 years ago | (#41617469)

This is the opening line from another article on the same page, which is actually more interesting than the insect-brain article. Of course now that I've posted it here, your corporate web blocker may seal off Slashdot... " Performing oral sex or having sex without a condom may benefit both mental and physical health in women, according to scientists who analyzed the effects of semen's "mood-altering chemicals."

Re:Damn corporate web blocker! (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 2 years ago | (#41617867)

Performing oral sex or having sex without a condom may benefit both mental and physical health in women, according to scientists who analyzed the effects of semen's "mood-altering chemicals."

Citation needed on that.

Desperately!

Re:Damn corporate web blocker! (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 years ago | (#41622153)

"Performing oral sex or having sex without a condom may benefit both mental and physical health in women, according to scientists who analyzed the effects of semen's "mood-altering chemicals."

Citation needed on that.

Desperately!

I can't speak to the accuracy of the claims, but here [medicaldaily.com] . Pretty much verbatim.

Anecdotally, I know what being on the receiving end does for my mood though. ;-)

Re:Damn corporate web blocker! (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 2 years ago | (#41630325)

Thanks for that, nice to know. If I ever get out of my mom's basement and get a 'real' girl, I need to make sure she reads this. "There's your proof right there on the internet, honey, so it's really true! Now..." :-)

Re:Damn corporate web blocker! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41617545)

Access has been blocked because of: Tru-View has categorised this page as Drugs

Whoever wrote Tru-View was so high they thought arthropods were a kind of marijuana.

Re:Damn corporate web blocker! (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | about 2 years ago | (#41620359)

When in actuality, it should have been categorized as Bugs...

offensive (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41617441)

Frankly I find the idea of a bug that thinks offensive.

Re:offensive (3, Informative)

Walterk (124748) | about 2 years ago | (#41617565)

Note to mods: the above is a reference [youtube.com] to famous sci-fi Starship Troopers [imdb.com] .

Would you like to know more?

Re:offensive (2)

rossdee (243626) | about 2 years ago | (#41618617)

I am sure that Robert Anson Heinlein tirns over in his grave whenever anyone mentions that crappy movie.
He would like to be remembered for the book though.

Re:offensive (2)

Zaphod-AVA (471116) | about 2 years ago | (#41620401)

Not entirely fair. It's certainly a terrible attempt at a Starship Troopers movie, however when I mentally rename it to "Bugs From Space" and ignore the sound of Heinlein spinning in his grave, it becomes a lot more enjoyable. The effects are decent, it has a good sense of humor, a lovely redhead, and Neil Patrick Harris

Re:offensive (1)

Genda (560240) | about 2 years ago | (#41625983)

I find Heinleins spinning in his grave, gives the movie soundtrack an edgy whine that makes it more suspenseful. I would actually change the name of the movie to "RRRRAAAAIIIDDDD!!!"

Re:offensive (1)

Dixie_Flatline (5077) | about 2 years ago | (#41631205)

I'm not sure sure. It did the RIGHT thing in that it didn't slavishly follow the book--most movies that do fail because books aren't the same as movies, so doing a 1-to-1 translation doesn't really work.

Heinlein also had certain political views that he trotted out in his books: citizenship through service, government control, propaganda, etc. The Starship Troopers movie actually does a really good job of a lot of that. Despite the big explosions and (sometimes) goofy dialogue and meaningless romance/sex scenes, the political undercurrent of the stories is still there. The movie has real political messages, if you're willing to look at them and not spend all the time watching the movie lamenting that it's not the same as the original.

I think RAH would have liked it. :)

What I'd like to know is.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41618779)

Where was the air cover, the artillery, the AFVs; even arming the troopers with RPGs would have been more effective. And no one in charge seemed to have even an elementary appreciation of battlefield tactics. I suppose the real subtext was that the war with the bugs was just a way of thinning out the surplus human population.

But it was fun watching everyone getting chewed up by the Red Menace... Oops! I meant the bugs........

Re:offensive (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#41618799)

Also an Asimov short story with aliens that breathe chlorine and look like giant houseflys, titled C-Chute. [wikipedia.org] Unfortunately, the linked wiki article doesn't mention their looking like insects.

Re:offensive (1)

azalin (67640) | about 2 years ago | (#41617575)

"If it's got more than two legs, shoot it!" (or something along this line, it's been to long)

Re:offensive (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about 2 years ago | (#41617803)

"Come on, you apes! You wanna live forever!?"

I think the quote from the book is slightly different:

"Move it, Apes! Do you want to live forever?"

Would you like to know more?

Re:offensive (1)

wolverine2k (2620741) | about 2 years ago | (#41617835)

Well, now we can legally call someone bug head or insect head...

Re:offensive (3, Funny)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 2 years ago | (#41618055)

Frankly I find the idea of a bug that thinks offensive.

You have not seen the AI code in development. Sometimes the code becomes sentient prematurely and the bugs think they are features.

Re:offensive (2)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about 2 years ago | (#41618147)

I really would love it if they remade that movie to actually include powered armor.

Re:offensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41618429)

That armor has some interesting credits.
I believe I read that they re-used it in Firefly for the military...

Bet it could out-debate Obama (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41617463)

Hell, blue-green algae can out-debate an empty chair.

Re:Bet it could out-debate Obama (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41618237)

It's incredibly old and has a relatively primitive brain- sounds like a typical Romney supporter. During the debate, will it also get to make up its own facts?

And the Scarecrow said (2)

oDDmON oUT (231200) | about 2 years ago | (#41617471)

"Finally".

Re:And the Scarecrow said (1)

should_be_linear (779431) | about 2 years ago | (#41617661)

It said "First Post!"

And in China.... (1)

busyqth (2566075) | about 2 years ago | (#41617541)

You know for sure that the first thought through the minds of Chinese researchers upon finding this fossilized bug: "What does it taste like?"
I mean, that was pretty much my first thought.. well, right after "what's the best way to cook it?"

Re:And in China.... (1)

MiniMike (234881) | about 2 years ago | (#41618249)

The fossilized arthropod probably tastes like fossilized chicken.

We came to find you (1)

slashdime (818069) | about 2 years ago | (#41617663)

Over half a billion years. As far as we know, it's only been 13.75 billion years since (the|this most recent) big bang. That's 3.636% (repeating of course) of the age of the universe we've spent evolving our minds. And now we cast our gaze back over half a billion years in wonder.

Re:We came to find you (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about 2 years ago | (#41617811)

still... nearly half the bug's DNA should still be viable ;)

Re:We came to find you (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about 2 years ago | (#41617837)

my bad - misread the first article, what I should have said was:

still... nearly 0.5^998080 fraction of the DNA should still be viable.

I think it lost the giggle factor second time round...

t^u3girl (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41617775)

if dxesired, we 5tarted work on *BSD but FreeBSD

Damn (4, Funny)

nospam007 (722110) | about 2 years ago | (#41617813)

Reading this from the couch on the TV with large fonts, I read the title as:

520-Million-Year-Old Arthropod May Have Had the First Modem!

and I thought, damn, news for nerds, finally!

Re:Damn (1)

Genda (560240) | about 2 years ago | (#41626011)

And you never heard crickets downloading Katydid porn on a warm summer night?

Slash-dotters lead such sheltered lives...

Uhhhhhh (3, Interesting)

Giant Electronic Bra (1229876) | about 2 years ago | (#41617919)

520 million years, or a good ways into the Atdabanian Stage. At that point trilobites have been around for at least 6 million years already. Surely they had fairly sophisticated arthropod brains. I dunno, this seems a little late, the primary radiation in Euarthropoda almost certainly came before this guy lived. In any case the systematics of arthropods are a mess.

She's gonna be disappointed (3, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 2 years ago | (#41617977)

My daughter thinks SHE has the first modern brain.

Re:She's gonna be disappointed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41619347)

Just how did you ever convince a female to mate with you, anyway?

You're a total grump.

Re:She's gonna be disappointed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41619497)

Hey PopeRatzo- whatever else you say about your daughter, at least she reads Slashdot!

Re:She's gonna be disappointed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41620103)

My daughter thinks SHE has the first modern brain.

80% of the posters on slashdot seem to think that as well.

Evidence against evolution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41618149)

So after 520 million years, insect 'brains' haven't really evolved at all? What could that mean?

Re:Evidence against evolution? (1)

NEDHead (1651195) | about 2 years ago | (#41618431)

They are the backbone of the Republican Party! (insert comments about lack of spine, segmented bodies, etc. here)

Re:Evidence against evolution? (3, Funny)

rossdee (243626) | about 2 years ago | (#41618715)

If you add up all the intelligence of all the Republicans on the House science committee it would still be less than one of those bugs.

Who knew... (1)

bodland (522967) | about 2 years ago | (#41618619)

Paul Ryan was that old....

Re:Who knew... (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 2 years ago | (#41619051)

Paul Ryan isn't that old. John McCain, Mitch McConnell, and Joe Lieberman, on the other hand ...

Wait a minute... (2)

musixman (1713146) | about 2 years ago | (#41618985)

You mean the earth wasn't created 6,000 years ago?

Re:Wait a minute... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41621777)

Who says these guys are right? Funny how everyone loves to assume a lot and call it fact. Hum....

LOL, my captcha turn out to be "Presume". ROFL

He may have had the first modern Brain, but . . . (1)

DickBreath (207180) | about 2 years ago | (#41619447)

He did not have the first modern birth control and must have coupled with someone of the opposite gender.

And here we are today with imaginary "Intellectual Property".

Oh, look, Joe found a better, faster way to make fire! Too bad the rest of us aren't allowed to do that.

Oh, look, Bill found that a spear works better than a club for killing prey! Too bad the rest of us can't do that.

Oh, look, John found that using round wheels work better than rectangles with rounded corners! Too bad the rest of us can't use that idea.

Oh, look! ! ! Ted found a way of having sex that looks like a lot more fun. Too bad . . .

Etc, etc.

modern brain? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41619699)

modern? 520 million years ago? i dont think that word means what you think it means

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...