An eel-like prehistoric creature found in Canada has been identified as the oldest ancestor of humans that science has ever known.
This is the direct ancestor of all vertebrates on Earth, including humans.
According to the Telegraph , fossils dating to 505 million years have helped preserve these small animals. This is the most ancient form ever discovered of primitive spinal animals.
This is the direct ancestor of all animals
backbone on Earth, including humans.
And so, it is also a direct ancestor of all members of the Earth's vertebrate family, including fish, birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals.
It also means that this 5cm long eel named Pikaia gracilens is the ancestor of humans.
The first to discover the fossil of Pikaia gracilens from 100 years ago was American paleontologist Charles Doolittle Walcott. Since then, scientists have hypothesized that this creature may be a vertebrate, because it possesses a simple form of nerve.
However, because pikaia lacks a complete vertebrate, there are still many doubts about the classification of this fossil. Now, an analysis of 114 prehistoric animal species conducted by Cambridge University, has discovered tiny bone tissue inside fossils. This discovery helped to erase all the last doubts.
Further analysis shows that this eel-shaped organism is divided into many different muscle masses, with a central spinal cord running along its length. They possessed a small head with two tentacles, no eyes, moved by bending the body like a snake.