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Ancient Shrimp-Like Creature Has Oldest Known Circulatory System

Unknown Lamer posted about 6 months ago | from the brain-hungers-for-blood dept.

Science 35

sciencehabit (1205606) writes "A 520-million-year-old shrimp-like creature known as Fuxianhuia protensa has the oldest known cardiovascular system, researchers report. It was both modern and unsophisticated. A simple, tubelike heart was buried in the creature's belly — or thorax — and shot single blood vessels into the 20 or so segments of its primitive body. In contrast, x-ray scans of the specimen revealed profoundly intricate channels in the head and neck. The brain was well supplied with looping blood vessels, which extended branches into the arthropod's alienlike eyestalks and antennae and rivaled the complexity of today's crustaceans. From this Gordian architecture, the researchers can now speculate about the critter's lifestyle. Its brain required abundant oxygen, so it presumably did a fair amount of thinking."

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Shouldn't this story... (4, Funny)

cstacy (534252) | about 6 months ago | (#46692031)

...have been posted by nerval's lobster?

Re:Shouldn't this story... (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 6 months ago | (#46692535)

Fuxianhuia protensa?

Sounds more like a Quetzalcoatl post.

I for one... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46692049)

Welcome our shrimp overlords.

If it's not a Mantis (1)

larpon (974081) | about 6 months ago | (#46692127)

... It's not a shrimp

Re:If it's not a Mantis (2)

Z00L00K (682162) | about 6 months ago | (#46692163)

If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck it's hard to tell anything else.

This specimen is in any case quite interesting because it do show that the general body layout was already defined that long ago. It also brings up the question of what did exist before this creature.

Re:If it's not a Mantis (2)

larpon (974081) | about 6 months ago | (#46692179)

It also brings up the question of what did exist before this creature.

Prawn crackers

Re:If it's not a Mantis (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46692439)

I think I prefer a world where ducks have the oldest circulatory systems.
Perhaps shrimp were proto-ducks and weve just missed the taxonomy.
Elephants were natures first enema bag. Ancient evidence found at early watering holes suggest Elephants would enhance the high fiber diet of other animals by blowing several liters of water up the other animals asses. This helped elephant friendly species and began an age of interdependence that extended lives of several species, known for colon cancer resistance and clean assholes.

Re:If it's not a Mantis (2)

Isaac-1 (233099) | about 6 months ago | (#46692635)

Also in this case did it taste like a shrimp?

Re:If it's not a Mantis (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46693465)

Also in this case did it taste like a shrimp?

It DID. Now it tastes like rocks.

Re:If it's not a Mantis (4, Insightful)

Sique (173459) | about 6 months ago | (#46692315)

That's why it's called shrimplike. It's definitely no shrimp, it's not even a crustacea, it's an animal that was close to the common ancestor of insects, crustaceans and spiders.

Rock Lobster (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46692167)

When seeing the images, all I can think is Rock Lobster.

Re:Rock Lobster (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46692527)

When I read "ancient shrimp-like creature has oldest known circulatory system," all I can think is Madonna.

spurious reasoning (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46692297)

'Its brain required abundant oxygen, so it presumably did a fair amount of thinking.'

humans brains require abundant oxygen but most do not do a fair amount of thinking...

Re:spurious reasoning (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about 6 months ago | (#46692367)

Just 'cause most humans are a waste of valuable oxygen molecules doesn't mean that this animal was.

Re:spurious reasoning (3, Insightful)

baldass_newbie (136609) | about 6 months ago | (#46692539)

'Its brain required abundant oxygen, so it presumably did a fair amount of thinking.'

humans brains require abundant oxygen but most do not do a fair amount of thinking...

For example, anthropomorphizing ancient sea critters.

Re:spurious reasoning (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46692829)

Leave Joe Biden out of this.

Deep thinking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46702279)

"Eat or poop?" .... "Eat *and* poop."

The answer to this is probably 'no' but (0)

kruach aum (1934852) | about 6 months ago | (#46692335)

don't all animals have cardiovascular systems? I guess I haven't really thought about it before, but I just assumed that creatures like snails and spiders must have them too, otherwise how would they transport oxygen to their cells?

Re:The answer to this is probably 'no' but (4, Informative)

Sique (173459) | about 6 months ago | (#46692359)

No, they don't. Sponges, medusae and polyps don't have a cardiovascular system for instance.

Re:The answer to this is probably 'no' but (4, Insightful)

Sique (173459) | about 6 months ago | (#46692365)

Replying to myself: Most insects don't transport much of their oxygene via the blood anyway, they have tracheae, which basicly connect the inner parts of the body directly to the outside. The role of the blood in insects is more akin to that of the lymph in vertebrae.

Re:The answer to this is probably 'no' but (4, Interesting)

Artifakt (700173) | about 6 months ago | (#46692649)

And this is one reason we don't see gigantic insects, quite aside from the usual argument that the square-cube law would make their limbs too thin to support their weight. It also means they would have to evolve better oxygen transport mechanisms.

Re:The answer to this is probably 'no' but (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 6 months ago | (#46694817)

We used to. Sixty-odd million years ago. There was more oxygen in the air then.

Re:The answer to this is probably 'no' but (1)

cusco (717999) | about 6 months ago | (#46695339)

I wish I could see the dragonfly with the half-meter wingspan. Wonder what it sounded like. I understand there's someone working on a robotic version, but it wouldn't be the same.

Re:The answer to this is probably 'no' but (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 6 months ago | (#46697457)

Thwump-thwump-thwump-thwump-thwump.

Well, what with horseshow crabs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46692519)

Similar age (living fossiles), blue-blooded. They are bled in masses in order to get cheap medical tests. Nobody is really fond of them apart from that.

Re:Well, what with horseshow crabs? (3, Informative)

Sique (173459) | about 6 months ago | (#46692577)

Actually, the oldest known horseshoe crab fossils are 70 million years younger than those of Fuxianhuia protensa. And 70 million years is a long time, even considering evolution. 70 million years ago from today, dinosaurs still ruled supreme on earth.

Re:Well, what with horseshow crabs? (1)

azav (469988) | about 6 months ago | (#46693405)

Horseshoe* crabs.

http://bioweb.uwlax.edu/bio203... [uwlax.edu]
Look under circulatory system.

Sure, they have circulatory systems, but has a fossil one been found where a circulatory system can be detected? I don't know.

It did "a whole lot of thinking"? (1)

azav (469988) | about 6 months ago | (#46693365)

A primitive brain like that can't think.

Re:It did "a whole lot of thinking"? (3, Funny)

invid (163714) | about 6 months ago | (#46693503)

Now you've done it! Now we have to define "thinking". And thinking is required to define thinking. Or is it? Because I haven't defined thinking yet.

Re:It did "a whole lot of thinking"? (2)

cusco (717999) | about 6 months ago | (#46695421)

What an odd statement. Of course it's not going to be pondering the meaning of life or generating the guest list for an ambassadorial reception, but deciding whether the approaching snail is predator or prey is certainly thinking. So is deciding whether to move up or down in the water column to find a more comfortable temperature. It might not take a complex thought process, but it's still a thought process that comes to a conclusion.

Re:It did "a whole lot of thinking"? (2)

jellomizer (103300) | about 6 months ago | (#46696359)

Exactly, it is doing things more complicated than a normal reflex.
A lot of primitive animals work on reflex. Either move towards or away from light. When touched grasp. A primitive brain can process things like when dark wait a while to see if is not something like a predator overhead. Avoid objects in the way. Very simple type of reasoning.

brainpower reminds me .... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46693809)

"so it presumably did a fair amount of thinking" -- equivalent to your typical 'Warmist' or that scientific moron scam artist algore.

But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46694011)

...can it run Linux????

Re:But... (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 6 months ago | (#46694773)

...can it run Linux????

Beta 1; it's the Cambrian, for Pete's sake!

Yes yes, science on this is all well/ good but... (1)

HellYeahAutomaton (815542) | about 6 months ago | (#46696227)

How well would this shrimp-like creature taste fresh, cooked, and drenched in drawn butter??

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