Navigation Links
Four-eyed daddy longlegs fossil fills in evolutionary tree
Date:4/10/2014

Living harvestmena group of arachnids more commonly known as daddy longlegshave a single pair of eyes that help them navigate habitats in every continent except Antarctica. But a newly described 305-million-year-old fossil found in eastern France shows that wasn't always the case. New research recently published in the journal Current Biology and led by scientists at the American Museum of Natural History and the University of Manchester indicates that primitive harvestmen had two pairs of eyes, adding significant details to the evolutionary story of this diverse and highly successful group.

"Terrestrial arthropods like harvestmen have a sparse fossil record because their exoskeletons don't preserve well," said Prashant Sharma, a postdoctoral researcher in the Museum's Division of Invertebrate Zoology and one of the lead authors on the new study. "As a result, some fundamental questions in the evolutionary history of these organisms remain unresolved. This exceptional fossil has given us a rare and detailed look at the anatomy of harvestmen that lived hundreds of millions of years ago."

Despite having eight long legs and being classified as arachnids, harvestmen are not spiders, even though they resemble them. Instead, they are more closely related to scorpions among the arachnids, a group that also includes mites and ticks. Arachnids can have two kinds of eyes: lateral, those on the side of the body; and median, those near the middle of the body. The former are lacking in harvestmen species living today.

But Hastocularis argus, the new species described by the researchers from the fossil, has both median and lateral eyes. The unique fossil's anatomy was studied in meticulous detail using high-resolution x-ray imaging at the Natural History Museum, London.

"Fossils preserved in three dimensions are quite rare," said Russell Garwood, a research fellow at the University of Manchester and a lead author on the study. "This is especially true of harvestmen. Our x-ray techniques have allowed us to reveal this fossil in more detail than we would have dreamed possible two decades ago."

The researchers corroborated their results by looking at the expression of a particular "eye-stalk-growing" gene in a living species of harvestmen. They found that developing embryos briefly express this gene in the lateral area, where the second eye pair is located in the fossil. But by the time they hatch, harvestmen only form the median eyes.


'/>"/>

Contact: Kendra Snyder
ksnyder@amnh.org
212-496-3419
American Museum of Natural History
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. MU researchers find rare fossilized embryos more than 500 million years old
2. Using more wood for construction can slash global reliance on fossil fuels
3. Technofossils -- an unprecedented legacy left behind by humans
4. Paleontologists assemble giant turtle bone from fossil discoveries made centuries apart
5. Unique chromosomes preserved in Swedish fossil
6. New from Geology: Fossils, earthquakes, gold, and sea-bed landslides
7. Fossilized human feces from 14th century contain antibiotic resistance genes
8. Dinosaur fossils from China help Penn researchers describe new Titan
9. Big-headed fossil flies track major ecological revolution
10. Iconic Australasian trees found as fossils in South America
11. Fossil pigments reveal the colors of ancient sea monsters
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Four-eyed daddy longlegs fossil fills in evolutionary tree
(Date:2/10/2016)... February 10, 2016 ... to 2016 iris recognition market report, combined ... is more widely accepted for border control. ... fingerprint and iris recognition technology in a ... avoid purchasing two individual biometrics devices. ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... Vigilant Solutions announces today that an agency used ... a lead in a difficult homicide case. The agency then ... the suspect vehicle. Due to the ongoing investigation, the agency ... at the agency,s request. --> ... was found deceased at an intersection here in the City. ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... , Feb. 5, 2016 ... addition of the "Global Facial Recognition ... --> http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/5kvw8m/global_facial ) has announced ... Recognition Market 2016-2020" report to their ... ( http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/5kvw8m/global_facial ) has announced the addition ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... DELRAY BEACH, Florida , February 11, 2016 ... --> PositiveID Corporation ("PositiveID" or "Company") (OTCQB: ... and diagnostics, announced today that its Thermomedics subsidiary, ... significant progress on its growth plan in January ... healthcare products distributors, increasing sequential monthly sales growth, ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... , ... February 11, 2016 , ... ... its new stem cell treatment clinic in Quito, Ecuador. The new facility will ... trauma applications to patients from around the world. , The new GSCG ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... LOUISVILLE, Ky. , Feb. 10, 2016 ... company utilizing its proprietary NeXosome® technology for early ... presentation of its most recent study by Dr. ... Hospital at the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine,s (SMFM) ... , GA, February 1-6 th , 2016.  The presentation ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... , Feb. 10, 2016  Allergan plc (NYSE: ... announced that Brent Saunders , Allergan,s CEO and ... a fireside chat session at the RBC Capital Markets ... p.m. ET at The New York Palace Hotel in ... will be webcast live and can be accessed on ...
Breaking Biology Technology: