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The world's oldest land animal is a fossilized millipede creature identified in Scotland.


The world's oldest land animal, a humble pioneer of land-based living 425 millions years ago, may represent a fossil-fished millipede-like animal that helped pave the way for the throngs which would eventually inhabit dry areas of Earth.

Observers said that in the Scottish Inner Hebrides, the fossil of the Silurian Period creature, named Kampecaris obanensis, lived in a lake environment in Kerrera Island and likely ate plants. In the same ancient lake region as Kampecaris, fossils from the oldest-known plant, called Cooksonia have been identified.

Kampecaris is, it is thought, the earliest known land-based animal to be found in a fossil, yet the soil worms appear 450 millions years ago, according to the University of Texas and Massachusetts Boston's paleontologist, Michael Brookfield, lead author of this research published in the Historical Biology journal this month.

Kampecaris, about 2.5 cm long, with a segmented body, looked like contemporary millipedes, but belonged to an extinct group. Her legs in the fossil have not been preserved.

It was an arthropod, a wide array of insects , spiders, millipedes, centpedes and crustaceans, such as crabs and shrimp.

Life evolved first in the world's oceans, with a diversity explosion that started around 540 million years ago. It took a long time to get to land, starting with plants like mousses about 450 million years ago. The later onset of plants such as Cooksonia contributed to the development of more complex earthly ecosystems.

First terrestrial vertebrate-the ancestors of reptiles, birds and mammals that nowadays, including our species that came to life at about 300 000 years ago, have emerged about 375 million years ago from fish with brawny, shallow waters.

Article Edited by | Jhon H |

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