If I asked you to think of an ancient relative of a human ancestor you probably would not picture something like the vetulicolians. The vetulicolians had the basic body plan that you see here: A kind of segmented area attached to a flatter area to
The use of cradle boards and other apparatus with young children has been used at different times of human history to purposefully create elongated skulls, flattened skulls, bulbous skulls, and other unusual cranial shapes.
“It points to the absence of any species to species transitional forms actually found in the fossil record.” – Kirk Cameron, paleontologist, creationist, homo sapiens
These fossils could be the first evidence of that very early link between the worlds of microbes and megafauna… or they could be not any kind of fossils at all.
These animals exist today, but as a group they’re very ancient: At least 635 million years ancient. That’s the age of rocks within which their steroid, 24-isopropylcholestane, was found.
Even though an animal may seem to have super-adaptive features, those features are actually a kind of super-specialization that can make the species vulnerable to extinction. Perhaps that’s why the giant cheetah went extinct.