Nets of filaments were found in 7 species of organisms known as rangeomorphs - creatures from the Ediacaran period reminiscent of branches or sea feathers of Pennatulacea. Fossils of rangeomorphs were found at 40 sites on Newfoundland Island in Canada. These animals did not move and had no mouths or complex organs.
Most strands reached a length of between 2 and 40 centimeters, and some - 4 meters.
Scientists suggest these structures were used for clonal propagation and also had other functions - providing resistance to strong ocean currents and were likely as an ancient analogue of a root system uniting several trees.
In the opinion of scientists, the results of the study will lead to a revision of previous conclusions how these organisms interacted with each other and how they competed for space and resources on the ocean floor.
Scientists came across an ancient 'collective' organism
Scientists at the universities of Cambridge and Oxford found that some of the first animals on Earth were connected to each other by threads that allowed them to exchange nutrients and swap signals, Fiz.org reported, quoted by BTA.tags:
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