Rangeomorphs, which lived about 565 million years ago, were pretty strange.They’re often considered to be some of the first animals to evolve on Earth, but they share little in common with modern critters — they look more like plants. But according to a new study, their reproductive techniques were astonishingly complex — and familiar, too.
The research, published Monday in Nature Communications, used statistical analysis to determine what kind of reproductive strategy was used by the genus Fractofusus, a type of rangeomorph. Based on the population distributions found in fossils, the researchers report, these creatures used a two-pronged reproductive approach. They may even have been the first group to develop such a nuanced plan for populating the world.
“Rangeomorphs don’t look like anything else in…
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