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Scientists discover evolutionary link to modern-day echinoderms

Research team solves fossil mystery, identifies new species

Scientists at The Ohio State University have discovered a new species that lived more than 500 million years ago—a form of ancient echinoderm that was ancestral to modern-day groups such as sea cucumbers, sea urchins, sea stars, brittle stars and crinoids. The fossil shows a crucial evolutionary step by echinoderms that parallels the most important ecological change to have taken place in marine sediments.

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