Parental care of the young from 450 million years ago
An international team of scientists led by David Siveter, Emeritus Professor of Palaeontology at Leicester, has uncovered a portrait of prehistoric parenthood captured deep in the fossil record.
The ‘nursery in the sea’ has revealed a species new to science – with specimens preserved incubating their eggs together with probable hatched individuals.
The find, published in the journal , provides conclusive evidence of a reproductive and brood-care strategy conserved for at least 450 million years. It also represents the oldest confirmed occurrence of ostracods in the fossil record.
Image: The ostracod Luprisca incuba from 450 million-year-old rocks of New York State, USA, with eggs protruding from the rear of the shell and limbs at the front of the animal, as photographed and captured by X-ray CT studies (eggs and possible hatched individuals in yellow). Credit: Siveter, David J., Tanaka, G., Farrell, C. Ú., Martin, M.J., Siveter, Derek J & Briggs, D.E.G.