525-million-year-old fossil defies textbook explanation for brain evolution

According to a new study, fossils of a tiny sea creature with a delicately preserved nervous system solve a century-old debate over how the brain evolved in arthropods, the most species-rich group in the animal kingdom. Combining detailed anatomical studies of the fossilized nervous system with analyses of gene expression patterns in living descendants, they conclude that a shared blueprint of brain organization has been maintained from the Cambrian until today.

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