Scientists unravel mystery of anus-less creature that may be ancestor of spiders

  • Victoria Gill
  • BBC News Science Correspondent

A detailed image of Saccorhytus coronarius

Credit, P Donoghue et al/University of Bristol

photo caption,

Powerful radiography techniques have revealed the millimeter-long creature’s details

A group of scientists say they have solved an evolutionary mystery involving a 500-million-year-old spiny microscopic creature that has a mouth but no anus.

When the species was discovered in 2017, it was reported that the tiny fossil of this “sea beast” could be the oldest known ancestor of humans.

The animal, which was named Saccorhytus coronariushas been provisionally classified within a group called deuterostomes.

They represent the primitive ancestors of vertebrate animals — including humans.

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