Parental care of the young from 450 million years ago

Posted by er134 at Mar 13, 2014 04:20 PM |
Leicester-led scientists discover new species in pre-historic ‘nursery in the sea’
Parental care of the young from 450 million years ago

See image caption in text

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 Current Biology, 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.

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