A new study shows that a weird sea beast with a round mouth full of jagged teeth, when it evolved its eyes, triggered a prehistoric “arms race.”
Radioactive radiation lingered in the ocean more than 500 million years ago, and it was one of the earliest animals on earth.
Now, a new study shows how their big eyes can give them an advantage when searching for food, force their prey to adapt or die, and promote the rapid development of evolution.
Although other animals at the time also had eyes, the eyes of the radiating head were so sophisticated that they were on the edge of the dim ocean area.
Radiodonta wandered in the ocean more than 500 million years ago. It is one of the earliest animals on earth
What is Actinomyces?
Radiodontosaurus means “radiating teeth” and is a group of arthropods in the Cambrian period.
They are the earliest known large predators. When most life forms are aquatic plants and multicellular organisms, some reach a length of more than one meter.
They have large spiny (or grasping) appendages on the front of their heads, and their mouths are decorated with serrations.
No known Radiodonta member has legs.
They are distant relatives of spiders, insects and crustaceans.
The lead author of the study, John Patterson of the University of New England, said that it is this “arms race” that has caused the diversity of life we see today.
He said: “Radioworms are really strange because they look like a mixture of various animal parts stuck together.
The head has a pair of large spines for catching prey, a round mouth with serrated teeth and a pair of big eyes.
The rest of the body looks like a squid, with a series of swimming flaps on both sides of the body.
He continued: “They are some of the earliest animals in the history of the earth.
“Because they have sufficient hunting capabilities, especially with excellent vision, they will put a lot of pressure on their prey, especially in terms of long-term survival.
Therefore, prey needs to adapt and develop to cope with this pressure, otherwise they will face extinction.
“This so-called “arms race” is a constant evolutionary battle between predators and prey. Predators can adapt to better “weapons” and increase the defense of their prey.”
He added: “This arms race may have largely contributed to the diversification of life we see today.
Dr. Paterson and his team came to a conclusion after examining the fossils of the E Bay Shale on Kangaroo Island, South Australia
“Once animals started eating each other 500 million years ago, it triggered an ever-expanding network of complex ecological interactions, which undoubtedly led to the evolution of new species.”
After examining the fossils of the E Bay Shale on Kangaroo Island, South Australia, Dr. Patterson and his team came to a conclusion.
Until recently, the knowledge about radiation eyes was little known, but the discovery of larger and better eye specimens paved the way for a breakthrough.
Their large eyes give them an advantage in foraging, forcing their prey to adapt or die, and promote the rapid development of evolution
One eye sample has jaw-dropping 28,000 lenses, a number that can only be compared to insects such as dragonflies.
Dr. Patterson said: “We have shown that radiodonts have some of the largest and most complex eyes in the history of animal life.
Not only do they have a clear vision, but they can also see under different light levels in the ocean.
Radiodents have some of the largest and most complex eyes in the life history of animals, which allows them to have clear vision and be able to observe in the ocean at different light levels
When most life forms are aquatic plants and multicellular organisms, some reach a length of more than one meter
“This includes the depth of darkness in the twilight zone (as low as 1,000 meters), where the sun almost disappears.”
He added: “Radioworm represents the earliest and most primitive arthropod in existence.
“Perhaps without them, we will not see alive diversity of arthropods today, including insects, spiders, crustaceans and diversity classes.”
The lead author of the study, John Paterson of the University of New England, said it was this “arms race” that caused the diversity of life we see today.
The oldest radioactive fossils can be traced back to about 518 million years. Although it is not clear when they became extinct, these creatures seem to have survived up to 400 million years ago.
There are many types of predators, ranging in size from more than two meters to just a few centimeters.
Dr. Patterson said: “Many species are now known, and their diet is also very clear.”
“Some people will be great white sharks of their time-that is, predators with fangs will eat a lot of prey.
However, other species may only eat very small plankton.
Interestingly, the largest radioactive don worms that currently exist are those that eat these tiny creatures, which is similar to the diet of some large whales today.
“It’s quite large. Some people may live a long life, maybe decades, but this is just speculation.”
Dr. Paterson and colleagues Gregory Edgecombe and Diego García-Bellido published their findings in the journal Science Advances.
What is the “Cambrian explosion”?
For a long time, scientists have speculated that the large number of oxygen peaks during the “Cambrian explosion” was the key to the development of many animal species.
The Cambrian outbreak, about 541 million years ago, was a period when various animals broke out into the evolutionary scene.
About 580 million years ago, most organisms were simple, composed of individual cells occasionally organized into colonies.
In the following 70 or 80 million years, the speed of evolution accelerated, and the diversity of life began to resemble today.
It ended with the Cambrian-Ordovician extinction event about 488 million years ago.
A recent study has linked the historical rise of oxygen that caused animal life on Earth to fossil fuels.Pictured: This set of black shale was formed 450 million years ago and contains trilobite fossils and organic matter, which help to provide support in oxygen