Recent research has shed light on how the world’s oldest large animals consumed and digested food.
A team of scientists has managed to understand their diet through the analysis of the fossils of the oldest large animals in the world. This was to better analyze how they consumed and digested food . They especially focused on animals of the Ediacaran period who lived about 575 million years ago. Their fossilized entrails were analyzed.
Our results suggest that animals of the Ediacara biota, which lived on Earth before the Cambrian explosion of modern animal life, were a mix of real weirdos, like Dickinsonia, and more advanced animals like Kimberella that already had some physiological properties similar to humans and other modern animals.
Dr. Ilya Bobrovskiy, lead author of the study
Researchers have found cholesterol , a hallmark of us humans and other animals in the world. These ancient animals are the ancestors of all animals on Earth.
Scientists already knew that Kimberella left feeding marks by scraping off algae that covered the sea floor, which suggested the animal had guts. But it was only after analyzing the molecules in Kimberella’s intestines that we were able to determine what exactly she was eating and how she digested the food.
Professor Jochen Brocks, of the Australian National University
Kimberella had advanced intestines and was able to filter out everything else. Thanks to chemicals contained in fossils , we can now see the contents of the animals’ intestines. The technique was also valid on Dickinsonia to understand how it was feeding, and it was discovered that it did not have a gut.
- This Was The Oldest Meal Ever Eaten By An Animal (iflscience.com)