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China Earth Science

520-Million-Year-Old Arthropod May Have Had the First Modern Brain 60

An anonymous reader writes "Scientists say that the recently discovered 520 million year old insect brain, the oldest brain ever discovered in an arthropod, is surprisingly complex for its age, and may be the earliest example on record of a modern brain structure. Hailed as a 'transformative discovery,' researchers said that the 3-inch-long fossilized extinct arthropod found in Yunnan Province, China, shows that insects evolved to have complex brains significantly earlier than previously thought. Researchers said that the fossilized brain, which looks very similar to brains of modern insects, may provide a missing link that offers new insight on the evolutionary history of arthropods, a group of invertebrates that includes insects, spiders and crustaceans."
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520-Million-Year-Old Arthropod May Have Had the First Modern Brain

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  • Uhhhhhh (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Giant Electronic Bra ( 1229876 ) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @07:16AM (#41617919)

    520 million years, or a good ways into the Atdabanian Stage. At that point trilobites have been around for at least 6 million years already. Surely they had fairly sophisticated arthropod brains. I dunno, this seems a little late, the primary radiation in Euarthropoda almost certainly came before this guy lived. In any case the systematics of arthropods are a mess.

One man's "magic" is another man's engineering. "Supernatural" is a null word. -- Robert Heinlein