After finding traces of what it calls '
the world's oldest meal
' in a 550 million year old fossil, an international team of scientists say they have new insight into how early animals ate. reports CNN.
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Has a mouth and an intestine
It is under the name of “
” that hides part of the oldest life that there was on Earth.
Its traces are found in the oldest fossils ever discovered, of which the Kimberella specimen is one.
In the intestine of this fossilized slug, scientists have detected preserved phytosterol molecules: this suggests that the creature fed on algae and bacteria from the ocean floor.
This nutrient-rich food must have contributed to the significant growth of organisms in the Ediacara biota, according to paleontologists.
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The energy-dense food may explain why the organisms of the Ediacara biota were so large.
Almost all of the fossils that preceded the Ediacara biota were single-celled and microscopic in size
,” explained Jochen Brocks, a professor at the Australian University, according to a press release.
Endowed with a mouth and an intestine, Kimberella was certainly one of the most advanced creatures of the Ediacaran era.
She digested food in the same way as modern animals.