A 300-Million-Year-Old Tree Was An Orderly Line Of Vertebrae

A lizard-like dinosaur fossil may represent evidence of animal husbandry from 306 million years ago. An artist’s illustration of Dendromia anamakiensis, a 310-million-year-old terrestrial vertebrate that resembled a modern monitor lizard. The first fossil was so surprising that Brian Hebert almost missed the second.

dinosaur fossil

Trapped in the stump of a 300-million-year-old tree was an orderly line of vertebrae that sprouted a series of delicate, slender ribs. A chunk of abdominal scales extended into the space below, giving way to a pelvis and a pair of beautiful thigh bones. These were the earliest known remains of Dendromia anamakiensis, one of the earliest land vertebrates that likely resembled a foot-long monitor lizard.

“I can close my eyes and remember it like it was yesterday,” says Hebert, an amateur fossil hunter who stumbled upon the tree in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia in 2017. It was three-dimensional right in front of my face. Then Hebert saw another set of bones that stopped him cold: a short skull an inch long, wedged in where a left femur met a pubic bone. This skull, Hebert realized, belonged to an adolescent, who may have been his mother, turned against him.

fossil

Dendromia unmakiensis fossils were recovered from a tree trunk in 2017. The juvenile’s skull can be seen just above the left femur in panel b near the lower right corner. (Madin et al., Nature Ecology and Evolution, 2019). Hebert did not know this at the time, but what he found would soon become the key piece of evidence in an article published today in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, arguing that parental care, in offspring after birth, is an investment resource. 306 million years.

Dinosaur Fossils

Many of today’s amniotes, a group that includes mammals, birds, and reptiles, infest their young. While the evolutionary strategy is expensive, it increases the likelihood that an animal’s offspring will be successful, and fatherhood is often viewed by researchers as a characteristic of more modern animals. But this ancient pair of fossils, dating back to the pre-dinosaur era.

When our egg-laying ancestors first crawled ashore, suggests that the origins of this feeding behavior lie much deeper in this branch of the tree of life.

We tend to think of animals from [this part of the] past as ‘primitive’ or ‘simple’, says Jackie Lungmus, a vertebrate paleontologist at the University of Chicago who was not involved in the study. But they deserve more credit. Even then … these animals were probably doing a lot of what animals still do today.

dinosaur egg fossil

Even before he left the stump, Hebert, who had been scouring the Nova Scotia landscape looking for fossils since childhood, knew that he had discovered something great. To confirm the find, he recruited paleontologists Hilary Madin and Arjan Mann, who brought the bones to his laboratory at Carleton University in Ottawa for further analysis.

Under the microscope, the nature of the fossils was unmistakable, says Mann. They were related to two individuals of the same species, one fully developed and the other young, and presented the distinctive characteristics of the varianopids, an extinct family of pre-mammalian ancestors with reptilian characteristics that lived about 300 million years ago. But the adult looked different enough from her relatives to earn his own gender name: Dendromia, or “mother in the tree.”

dinosaur skin fossil

Excellent preservation of the fossils indicated that the pair had died suddenly, likely during a storm that filled their squat hideaway with suffocating sediment, preserving their final moments in the freeze frame. Wrapped between the adult’s tail and hind leg, the tiny specimen appeared to be deliberately protected from harm. “It seemed like orderly behavior,” says Madin, who found it hard not to think of a protective mother raising her child.

Mann, her graduate student, casually joked that she found “the earliest evidence of parental care.” He meant it as a joke, but his words reminded Madin of a similar fossil discovered a decade earlier in South Africa: a Heliosaurus specimen that had been around four juveniles during the Permian 260 million years ago with its tail, died together. Although separated by about 45 million years, both fossils were Varanopids and both appear to have become extinct, harboring their younger versions.

American Museum of Natural History

Researchers documenting the Heliosaurus discovery had pinpointed the remains as a possible family group, leading Mann and Madin to be more confident that they would have stumbled upon something similar and older. Mann didn’t hit the nail on the head, but on a viable hypothesis: From their earliest days, Viranopids may have prioritized parenting. Some researchers have previously presented even older evidence of parental care in invertebrates, but dendromia may represent the earliest known example of an amniotic parent caring for live young.

Without a time machine, researchers would not be able to know exactly what these animals were doing at the time of death. After all, clear behavioral evidence “is not something that is preserved in rocks,” says Stephanie Drumheller-Horton, a vertebrate paleontologist at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, who was not involved in the study. For example, it is possible that the two dendromias were not a family unit, but rather two unrecognized refugees seeking safe haven from a severe storm.

Similar Pow-wahs between unrelated adults and juveniles have previously been observed in the fossil record, explains Eva Hoffman, a vertebrate paleontologist at the American Museum of Natural History who was not involved in the study. Even the wraparound tail doesn’t guarantee anything – maybe they were both tight on space. Until more examples of possible parent-child associations emerge, some caution may be warranted, Hoffman says.

oldest evidence of domestication

But Drumheller-Horton believes that a mother living with her child remains the most likely explanation. The location of the fossils was also unlikely to be tentative. These delicate bones would not have been shed in a primate configuration if Dendromia and Heliosaurus were indeterminate parents, says Madin, which tells us that this behavior may have been present in a common ancestor of this group.

Perhaps paleontologists have yet to discover the oldest loving moms and dads in the lineage. Whatever its origins, breeding and its advantages are clearly stagnant. In many ways, it’s a sensible strategy, says Mann. By carrying their children early in life, ancient animals helped ensure their survival and continued persistence for generations to come.

The 309-million-year-old lizard-like fossil is the oldest evidence of domestication. Artist’s impression of Dendromaia unamakiensis. More than 300 million years ago, during the Carboniferous period, Nova Scotia was a subtropical swamp dominated by lycopeids, an ancient moss-like plant. In the hollowed-out stump of one of these lycopeids, an adult lizard-like creature and its young made their lair.

astonishing discovery

Until a severe storm flooded the area with sediment. The tragic event killed the creatures, but also trapped the pair on each other’s necks in the process, the oldest example of a creature caring for its young that scientists have found so far. The astonishing discovery was made in 2017 by Brian Hebert, a local fossil enthusiast who got in touch with Hilary Maddin, an assistant professor at Carleton University in Canada. The two recently published an article describing the new species, known as Dendromia anamakiensis.

The name is derived from the ancient Greek words’ tree ‘and’ mother ‘and Mi’kmaq’ is the name of the indigenous people of the Cape Breton island where the fossil was found. According to the researchers, the species is a viranopid, an extinct family of amniotes that resemble monitor lizards, which are said to be an early lineage of some mammals.

Fossils of adults and young of Dendromaia unamakiensis; The latter can be seen in the image on the right, near the lower right corner. Image credit: sci-news.com. Dendromaia adults did not exceed 20 cm from the tip of the snout to the base of the tail. Behind the hind legs of the adult and flanking its tail is the fossilized skull of a juvenile of the same species.

phylogenetic similarity

This side-by-side position suggests that if the adult had been a parent, it would be a great coincidence for the two creatures, an adult and a youngster, to die and fossilize together at random. In fact, this would make the 309-million-year-old fossil the oldest evidence of parental care, dating back 40 million years earlier than previously thought.

“This sample adds to the growing evidence that parental care was more widespread among Paleozoic synapsids than previously thought and also provides data that allow the identification of potential ontogeny-dependent traits within veranopids, the effects of which may vary between groups. ” of phylogenetic similarity, “the authors wrote in their study.

Although it is impossible for researchers to draw definitive conclusions about such complex behavior from the fossil record, the evidence is very strong that adults and young people interacted. Today, many birds, mammals, and lizards spend considerable time and resources protecting, raising, and raising their young.

In some species, especially social animals, parenting can be incredibly demanding, as adults invest heavily in teaching their young to feed. For example, humans are born completely defenseless in this world and depend on their parents to survive. We see many ancient animals as primitive. However, this fossil pairing shows that even then the creatures that preceded the dinosaurs behaved in many ways like modern animals.

Lizard Fossils Tucked Into The Trunk Of A 300 Million-Year-Old Tree Was An Orderly Line. Lizard fossils may represent evidence of animal husbandry of 306 million years. Shortly after the transition from sea to land, our ancestors who lay eggs must have started raising their young.

Artistic representation of Dendromaya anamkensis a 310 million-year-old vertebrate that lives on earth and looks like a modern monitor lizard, with its offspring (Henry Sharp) represented here. The first fossil was so surprising that Brian Hebert almost missed the second.

A lizard-like dinosaur fossil

Tucked into the trunk of a 300 million-year-old tree was an orderly line of vertebrae, which encompassed a series of delicate and sensitive ribs. A piece of abdominal scales covered the space below, paving the way for a pelvis and a pair of beautiful thigh bones.

These were the first known remains of Dendromaya unmikinesis, a vertebrate that inhabited the Earth and probably resembled a long-standing monitor lizard. “I can close my eyes and remember it as if it were yesterday,” says Hasbert, who happened in a tree in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia in 2017.

fossil recovered from the trunk

It was three-dimensional just in front of my face. Then, Hebert noticed another set of bones, which left him dead: a small skull an inch long, which was nested in a place where a left femur joined with a pubic bone. This skull, Hebert felt, belonged to a teenager who was probably against his mother. Dendromaya anamkensis fossil recovered from the trunk of a tree in 2017.

The juvenile skull can be seen in panel B, just below the left femur, near the right corner (Madin et al., Nature Ecology and Development, 2021).

Hebert did not know at that time, but what he found would soon become the Prime test in an article published today in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution that states that parental care: investing in offspring after birth Resources – At least 306 million years.

Rich in today’s amniotes, groups that include mammals, birds and reptiles infest their young. While the evolutionary strategy is expensive, it increases the chance that an animal’s progeny will succeed, and researchers believe that breeding is characteristic of modern animals.

paleontologist at the University of Chicago

But this ancient fossil couple, dating back to the pre-dinosaur era, when our ancestors who laid eggs first dragged the ashes, suggests that this nutritional behavior originated much more deeply in this branch of the tree of life. We tend to think of animals [in this part of the past as ‘primitive’ or ‘simple’. says Jackie Lungmus. A vertebrate paleontologist at the University of Chicago, who was not involved in the study.

But they deserve more credit. Still these animals were probably doing a lot of the work that animals still do today. Before leaving Stump, Hebert, who had been looking for fossils in the landscape of Nova Scotia since his childhood, knew that he had discovered something big. To confirm this finding, paleontologists Hilary Madin and Arjan Mann were recruited, who carefully transferred the bones to their laboratory at Carleton University, Ottawa, for a more detailed analysis.

about 300 million years ago

Under the microscope, the fossils were infallible in nature, says Mann. They belonged to two individuals of the same species, one fully developed and the other young, and had the distinctive feature of the extinct family of the pre-mammal ancestor. The varanópidos, with reptile features that lived about 300 million years ago. But adults looked different enough from their relatives to earn their own gender name: Dendromaya, or “mother in the tree.”

The exaggeration of the fossils indicated that the couple had died suddenly. Perhaps during a storm that flooded their strong base, preserving their last moments in the frozen frame. Leaning between the tail and the hind leg of the adult, the small specimen appeared as if it were protecting it from damage. It looks a lot like denying the behavior, says Maddin, who found it difficult not to think of a protective mother who is raising her son.

Nature Ecology & Evolution

A representation of the fossil of Dendromaya anammakensis, labeled in several parts of the anatomy. The juvenile specimen is marked, the position near the adult’s thigh bone (Fe) and the pelvis (Pu). (Madin et al. Nature Ecology and Evolution, 2019). Mann, his graduate student, joked casually that he found “early evidence of parental care.” He joked, but his words reminded Madine of a similar fossil in South Africa a decade ago.

The Hellesorus specimen that was surrounded by four tails during the Permian 260 million years ago, died with a tail. Although separated by some 45 million years, both fossils were varrenopid, and both, apparently, died while harboring smaller versions of themselves. The researchers who documented the Heliosorus had pointed out the remains to Mann and Madine as a possible family group, making them more reliable and older.

zoologist at the University of Tennessee

Mann had attacked not a key phrase, but a viable hypothesis: from its earliest days, Warnopids would have preferred child rearing. Some researchers have also previously presented older evidence of parental care in invertebrates, but dendromaya may represent the first known example of a young father who is a living child. Without the time machine, researchers could not know what these animals were doing at the time of their death.

After all, the behavioral evidence cut in the study “is not something that is preserved in the rocks,” says Stephanie Drumheller-Horton. A vertebrate zoologist at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, who is not participating in the study. For example, it is possible that two Dendromaya are not a family unit, but two unskilled refugees seeking a safe harbor against a storm.

Vertebrate paleontologist Eva Hoffman

Vertebrate paleontologist Eva Hoffman of the American Museum of Natural History, which was not included in the study, points out that similar powers have been seen previously among unrelated adults and adolescents in the fossil record. Even the wrapping tail guarantees nothing: perhaps both had little space. Until more examples of possible associations of parents and children arise, says Hoffman, caution can be exercised.

But Drumheller-Horton believes that a mother who cuddles with her child remains the most likely explanation. Fossil placement was also unlikely to be a coincidence. Bones are not introduced in such intimate settings and if both Dendromaya and Heliosaurus were guardians, “that tells us that this behavior could have existed in a common ancestor of this group,” says Madin. Perhaps paleontologists have yet to discover the most affectionate mothers and fathers.

evolutionary history

Whatever was clearly trapped around its origins, education and its advantages. In many ways, this is a sensible strategy, says Mann. By transporting their children at an early age, ancient animals helped ensure their survival and the continued persistence of generations to come. Parental care is a strategy with a long seniority, he says.

Clearly, it has worked many times in evolutionary history and we should appreciate it. A Carboniferous-period fossil found in Nova Scotia, Canada, shows an ancient creature called the varnopid synopsid (family Varnopidae) caring for its young.

Parental care is a behavioral strategy where parents make an investment or divert resources by themselves to increase their chances of health and survival for their offspring, said paleontologist Professor Hilary Madin and her colleagues at Carlton University And told Funkar Treasures. While there are a variety of parental care strategies, long-term postnatal care is the most expensive for a parent.

history of this behavior

This form of parental care is particularly common in mammals, as all mammalian offspring demand nutrition from their mothers. However, there is still little understanding of the evolutionary history of this behavior. 305 million year old specimen of Dendromaya unmykinesis.

Professor Madin’s team found the remains of an adult creature and an allied juvenile within the stump of a tree tree on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. The specimen not only represents a new species, but also belongs to an entirely new genus Vernopid synapsid. The researchers named the ancient animal Dendromaya namakimenesis.

This is the earliest evidence of long-term postnatal care in a vertex, Professor Madin said. The adult animal appears to hide and protect the juvenile in a den. Today this behavior is very common in mammals. It is interesting to see this animal, leading to mammals on the evolutionary line, displaying this behavior so quickly.

Nature Ecology

This discovery is reported in a paper in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution. Lizard fossils may represent evidence of animal husbandry of 306 million years. The first fossil was so surprising that Brian Hebert almost missed the second. Tucked into the trunk of a 300-million-year-old tree, an orderly line of vertebrae formed, spanning a series of delicate and sensitive ribs.

Space out a piece of abdominal scales, paving the way to a pelvis and a pair of beautiful thigh bones. These were the earliest known remains of Dendromaya unmakinesis, an early land-dwelling vertebrate, possibly similar to a foot-long monitor lizard. In 2017, as it happened in a tree in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Hubert says:

I can close my eyes and remember it like yesterday. Then Hebert saw another set of bones, which left him dead: a small skull an inch long, located where a left femur met a pubic bone. This skull, Hebert felt, belonged to a teenager who was probably against his mother.

evolutionary strategy

Hebert didn’t know it at the time, but what he found soon became the most evidence in an article published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, arguing that parental care, investment of resources in offspring after birth, was scarce. Less than 306 million years old. Rich in today’s amniotes, groups that include mammals, birds, and reptiles infest their young.

While the evolutionary strategy is expensive, it increases the chance that an animal’s progeny will succeed, and breeding is often seen by researchers as a symptom of more modern animals. But this ancient pair of fossils, dating back to the pre-dinosaur era, when our egg-laying predecessors first indicated creeping ashes.

The origin of this nutritional behavior lies much deeper in this branch of the tree of life. We started thinking about animals because it is past as ‘primitive’ or ‘simple’, says Jackie Lungmus. A vertebrate paleontologist at the University of Chicago who was not involved in the study.

paleontologists Hilary Madin

But they are credited for more characters’ characters. Still … these animals were probably doing a lot of the work that animals still do today. Before leaving Stump, Hebert, who had been searching for fossils in the Nova Scotia landscape since childhood, knew that he had discovered something great. To confirm this discovery, they recruited paleontologists Hilary Madin and Arjan Mann.

Who carefully transferred the bones to their laboratory at the University of Ottawa Carton for further analysis. Under the microscope, the fossils were infallible in nature, says Mann. They belonged to two individuals of the same species. One fully developed and the other young, and characterized the identity of the extinct family of the ancient ancestor of mammals, the varanopids, with reptilian features that lived about 300 million years ago.

similar fossil in South Africa

But the adults looked different enough from their relatives to earn their gender name: dendromaya or mother in the tree. The exaggerated preservation of the fossils indicated that the pair had died suddenly, perhaps during a storm that flooded their grueling hiding place, preserving their last moment in the frozen frame. Between the tail and the hind leg of the adult, the small, soaked specimen appeared as if it were purposefully protected from damage.

Researchers documenting Heliosorus

Her graduate student Mann casually joked that she found “early evidence of parental care. He was joking, but his words reminded Madine of a similar fossil in South Africa a decade ago: the Helleosaurus specimen that was surrounded by four tails during the Permian 260 million years ago.

Although about 45 million years apart, both fossils were varrenopid, and both reportedly died while harboring smaller versions of themselves. Researchers documenting Heliosorus point to the remains of Mann and Madin as a possible family group, leading them to believe that they had stumbled upon something similar and ancient.

Mann attacked the feasible hypothesis, not the auction. From its earliest days, Vernopids may have preferred parenting. Some researchers have also previously presented evidence of invertebrate parental care, but dendromaya may represent the earliest known precedent for a young father who is a living young man.

Without the time machine, researchers could not know what these animals were doing at the time of their death. After all, the behavioral evidence cut in the study “is not something that is preserved in rocks,” says Stephanie Drumheller-Horton, a vertebrate zoologist at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, who is not involved in the study.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: