When it comes to the history of mankind my science gets a bit sketchy. I know that mankind as we know it dates back around 200,000 years. I know we came from Neandertals. I think that before that we all came from something like a monkey. Before that, I honestly have no idea. That is why I found this latest discovery both incredibly exciting and informative. It appears we can now trace the origins of mankind back a lot further.
If you dig a little further into your science and history books you may find some theories that mankind came from the water. The first living things on our planet were in the water about 4 billion years ago and many believe that we somehow evolved from there. In fact, if you read the Quran it says that all animals are made from water. Whether that means from the sea or the fact that humans are around 60% water I am not sure. Either way, the leading theories, and beliefs all seem to agree that we came from water.
However, to date, those have all been theories. A new discovery in Australia appears to provide one of the important missing pieces. Biologists have found a fossil that is over 555 million years old. The fossil is a well preserved wormlike creature that has many biological distinctions that are similar to modern homo sapiens. This makes it the oldest thing we have found that is linked to our creation. This little worm sits at the very top of our family tree.
Before you start writing songs about your great great great .. (to the power of a lot) grandad the worm, let us tell you a little more. The scientists who found the worm say that it is the oldest fossil ever found with this level of complexity. It allows them to confirm what many leading theories before could only suggest.
This fossil was found on the ocean floor and the leading scientist says it shows that this is where mankind came from. Although only the size of a grain of rice this creature has an opening at the front and back with a gut in between. It is this amazing finding that puts this creature at the top of our family tree. The creature is now being called Ikaria Bilaterian as it has bilaterian symmetry or symmetrical sides of a head, anus, and gut, much like a human does. The word Ikaria comes from the region it was found in. Ikaria means meeting place in the original Australian indigenous language.
This creature which you would step on in a second and not give it a second thought is incredibly important. This tiny grain-sized worm may help provide some of the important pieces in understanding the puzzle of where human life came from. The little worm also appears to have some sensory abilities, although further research is required to prove that and to understand exactly how it functioned.
For many years now scientists have suspected that there were early bilaterians that would explain the start of the evolution of humanity. It now appears we have found that proof. While there is still a lot of research required to explain how small worms became big humans and to understand what even came before the small worm, it is a very exciting development. This research may help explain further mysteries about human life as work continues. For now, though you can sit back and revel in the fact that you came from a worm. How fortunate we are all to be here doing the things we are doing because some little worms managed to survive.