New fossils reveal what the brain of arthropod ancestors looked like

Scientists have discovered ancient fossils of creatures that have survived even after 500 million years. As it turned out, among them there is a semblance of the brain, which can now be observed in arthropods.

Scientists have discovered well-preserved fossils of creatures. The researchers looked at them and saw the structures that the researchers suggest should have contributed to the formation of the archetypal brain inherited by all arthropods. Arthropods are the most diverse and species-rich taxonomic group of animals, including insects, crustaceans, spiders and scorpions, as well as other lesser known species such as centipedes and centipedes.

Fossils belonging to the arthropod Leanchoilia confirm the presence of an extreme anterior region of the brain, which is not segmented and invisible in modern arthropods. Although not visible, this frontal region gives rise to several critical neural centers in the adult arthropod brain that provide centers involved in decision making and memory. They suggested that this frontal region differs from the forebrain, midbrain, and hindbrain seen in modern arthropods. Therefore, she was given the name “prosocerebrum” (“proso” means “front”).

The fossils described in an article in the journal Current Biology provide the first evidence for the existence of this prosocerebral region of the brain, the legacy of which manifests itself during the embryonic development of modern arthropods. This was noted by lead author Nicholas Strausfeld, professor of neurology at the University of Arizona.

The fossilized remains of Leanchoilia, which were found in southwestern China, date back to the Cambrian period about 508 million years ago. Fossils are found in sedimentary rocks with a high concentration of iron, the presence of which probably contributed to the preservation of soft tissue, which was subsequently replaced by carbon deposits.

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Alexandr Ivanov earned his Licentiate Engineer in Systems and Computer Engineering from the Free International University of Moldova. Since 2013, Alexandr has been working as a freelance web programmer.
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Alexandr Ivanov

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