The fossil of the oldest muscle found so far were uncovered in Canada. The fossil is more than 560 million years old and is one of the first animals with muscles, writes Fox News.
According to the scientists, the animal is a relative of sea anemones and jellyfish. There are bundles of fibers on the fossil, which are reminiscent of muscular tissue. It, in turn, is especially important for the evolution of animals.
"Our find confirms that the Earth was inhabited by creatures with muscles 560 million years ago, " stated Dr. Alex Liu from Cambridge University, one of the authors of the study.
Scientists believe that organisms began to evolve around 540 million years ago during the Cambrian Explosion, when everything began happening very fast. That was when the main groups of animals were formed.
Recently, large fossils and signs of animal activity from the Ediacaran Period, which began 635 Mya and concluded 541 Mya, were discovered.
Most fossils from the Ediacaran Period do not have distinct traits to show whether the fossils belonged to animals, plants, mushrooms or other forms of life. However, the new find that scientists have stumbled upon in the Canadian province of Newfoundland is different.
The body of the creature was equipped with an oval disk. Based on scientists' conclusions, the creature managed to stick itself to the bottom of the ocean thanks to this adaptation. The disk in question is attached with a trunk to a very thin and flat formation of fiber bundles.
Scientists believe that these are symmetrically arranged muscles. The fossil has been classified under a new species and genus, bearing the name Haootia quadriformis.
The formation of muscles is undoubtedly a key moment in animal evolution. Animals use their muscles for all sorts of activities. They help them move, breathe, take in food, get away from predators and reproduce. We can only guess what the world would have been like without them.