Found the oldest eye. For hundreds of millions of years, when life on earth is metamorphosed, a bug similar to a lobster took off his clothes in the sea, as they do your skin the snakes today. Before you probably would cast a look around and see some of his neighbors from the famous trilobites, closely related to crabs, to Anomalocaris, the shark of the day, nearly a meter in length and a face that seems have nailed two prawns. The bug of the strip would see perfectly, thanks to a 3,000-compound eye lenses, each equivalent to one pixel of a picture.
Some 515 million years after the scene in 2008 in what is now southern Australia, a Spanish unearthed the fossil of this mute abandoned. Its state of preservation, thanks to the mud that buried it, is exceptional. Corresponds to "more complex eyes and oldest in the world," according to its discoverer, Diego García-Bellido, researcher at the CSIC.
His visual acuity has surprised scientists, led by Australian John Paterson. At a time when "or not to see was the difference between life and death", this bug belongs to a new species unbaptized, looked at the world with 3,000 lenses, 35 times more than a trilobite and three times a current horseshoe crab. For Garcia-Bellido, this is unusual. Animal life just throw andar25 million years ago, a trifle in evolutionary terms, and this species of lobster and had a look "perfectly homologous" to a current arthropod.
The study, published today in the journal Nature, shows that the vision was extremely complex from the very inception of animal life, shortly after the Cambrian explosion, cuandoaparecieron suddenly all major groups of modern animals. For Garcia-Bellido, eyes found in Australia are tested for the ability of selecciónnatural Darwinpara raised by in a flash set very efficient adaptations.
The complexity of these eyes, says the researcher, is also a nod to the theories of zoologist Andrew Parker of the University of Oxford, since 2003, argues that the origin of the Cambrian explosion was precisely the development of the vision of predators. As a defense, the other animals were equipped with hard parts, which would explain their sudden appearance in the fossil beds at the time.