Moroccan scientists have found fossils that may answer so far unresolved questions. 48-million-year-old fossils of starfish have been found in Morocco, a study says, potentially adding the developmental link of their ancestors to the present day. According to researchers at the University of Cambridge, these are the oldest fossils of starfish. With the help of this discovery, one can get answers to many questions related to the structure of this interesting organism. (Photo: University of Cambridge)
Its structure is complex
The period to which these fossils belong is called the Ordovician biodiversity event when life suddenly began to develop. Earlier fossils were 43 million years old. Scientifically called Cantabrigiaster fezouataensis, the design of this species is quite complex. The feather marks in his arms are still present today. With its help, his anatomy can be better understood. (Photo: The Royal Society)
Today’s starfish is the most modern
Paleoecologist Aaron Hunter of the University of Cambridge says the discovery is encouraging to link it to the ancestors of this species. The starfish found today is very modern. According to researchers, older fossils have 60% fewer characteristics than today. It appears to be a hybrid of today’s starfish and water lilies. (Photo: The Royal Society)
Possible answers to many questions
Hundreds of organisms such as starfish were studied for this research. We have seen how the fossil could be related to today’s echinoderm family, which includes sea cucumbers and starfish. Like the modern species, it is five fingers in size but larger. Researchers want to know why starfish have five arms. Finding old fossils can provide answers to such questions.