The Facivermis had a long body and five pairs of thorny legs near the head and this had suggested that it could be the missing link between the worms without legs, and a group of animals called "lobopodi", that had limbs all over the body. The study reveals that Facivermis belonged to the lobopodi, but since he lived on the sea bottom, anchored with a sort of bulb at the end of his body, it has evolved to lose their legs. The animal was also wrapped in a sort of bag, like a tube, from which sprouted only head and feet are tricky, and that researchers have not yet understood the function.
"most of his relatives - said Howard had a three-to-nine series of legs to move, but our results suggest that Facivermis live anchored to the seabed. Living in this way, his lower limbs were not useful, and in time the species has stopped them. The upper limbs, instead, used to filter food from the water."
The cambrian period is seen as the dawn of animal life, and the researchers were surprised to find a species considered primitive in evolution already in this phase. "We know this species by about 30 years, but only now we understand what was its place in the evolutionary tree," remarked one of the authors Xiaoya Ma , the chinese university of Yunnan. "Studies such as this - he concluded - help us to understand the shape of the tree of life, and to understand where they come from the adaptations that we see now in the species".
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