Penis worm’s ancient cousin fossilized with its doughnut-shaped brain intact

Researchers uncovered a little something unanticipated in the fossilized embryo of a worm-like creature from the Cambrian time period: the continues to be of a small, doughnut-formed mind in the primordial animal’s head.

The approximately 500 million-year-old fossil is an instance of the marine species Markuelia hunanensisan historical cousin of penis worms (priapulids) and mud dragons (Kinorhyncha). To day, experts haven’t discovered fossils of the worm-like weirdos in their grownup sort, but scientists have uncovered hundreds of pristine embryos that capture different phases of the animals’ early advancement. Every single of these embryos steps only about fifty percent a millimeter (.02 inch) throughout.

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