Sunday, November 23, 2008

Rock Dots

They're a big deal. No, really. A set of dots, or small impressions made in a rock, are apparently the earliest animal footprints ever found in the fossil record.

Two parallel rows of small dots found in the rocks date back 570 million years, and suggest that animals started using legs about 30 million years earlier than thought. Animals started using tiny, tiny legs, since each print is about 2 millimeters in diameter. As far as the "animal" these tracks came from are concerned, well, it probably wasn't what I think of when I hear the word animal.

Still, it's nice to know that this time, it wasn't the tracks of a massive killing machine. I'm getting a little tired of hearing about how many of those used to roam the earth.

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Lidian said...

It does make a nice change from dinosaurs...

Stanley! said...

I dunno. I'm not convinced that they're actually "footprints," but I don't have a degree in paleontology, so I have to take their word for it.

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