Believe it or not,rhabdopleurids,tiny sea creatures,who reside on the ocean floor,building homes of collagen on the shells of dead clams as citters have lived and survived for more than 500 million years.
And in the process of doing so,they have outlasted more elaborate species that also descended from a common ancestor,claimed Science Daily(Sept 7,2012)referring to a new study in the journal Lethia.
“Though rhabdopleurids’ age and modern existence are well-documented, the paper breaks new ground by identifying them as a predecessor to ancient zooplankton — known as pelagic graptolites — that went extinct about 350 million years ago”,states Science Daily adding:
“The lesson, according to lead author Charles Mitchell: Newer isn’t always better.”
The same Daily quoted Mitchell, a University at Buffalo geology professor,saying,”We think that change is always going to lead us to a better place, that evolution is always going to lead to something better. But all this progress in making all these wonderful pelagic graptolites didn’t lead them to take over the world. They didn’t survive, but these simple dudes, these bottom-dwelling creatures, did.”
In fact,Mitchell’s research was backed by many others including Michael J. Melchin from St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, Canada; Chris B. Cameron of the Université de Montréal; and Jörg Maletz from the Frei Universität Berlin.