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Re: A 312 million year old fossil is discovered near the Emerald Square Mall in North Attleboro

Hi All

There's the Euthycarcinoids, who could be a link between Myriapoda and Hexapoda. They're developmentally somewhere between the two - at least as far as fossils can tell us. Shame there aren't any Euthycarcinoids alive today.


----- Original Message ----- From: "Ed Reinertsen" <ereinertsen@sbcglobal.net>
To: <yceballos@uci.cu>; "dinos" <dinosaur@usc.edu>; <VRTPALEO@usc.edu>
Sent: Saturday, December 06, 2008 2:01 PM
Subject: Re: A 312 million year old fossil is discovered near the Emerald Square Mall in North Attleboro

Rhyniella praecursor / Rhyniognatha hirsti

In 1926 Hirst and Maulik first named an arthropod Rhyniella praecursor that was found in the Rhynie chart beds, dated 410mya. Tillyard, in 1928 described Rhyniella praecursor mouth parts, suggesting Rhniella praecursor was insect-like and renamed the fossil remains Rhyniognatha hirsti, but did not place it in a group. For the next 76 years researchers considered the fossil too fragmented to determine that it was an insect or it to be a later contaminant. With the advance of technology Engel and Grimaldi in 2004 using the same specimen described by Hirst and Maulik confirmed that Rhyniognatha hirsti is the oldest springtail known. Furthermore, Engeland and Grimaldi placed the Rhyniognatha hirsti in the Metapterygota Group, implying that Rhyniognatha had wings. This study places the origin of wings at least 80 million years earlier. Additional specimens and studies by Greenslade, Jarzembowski, Massoud, Scourfield and Whalley have established that springtails were present 410mya in Scotland. These specimens and studies are also supported with other DNA studies estimating that insects originated before the Devonian period perhaps Early Silurian (500+mya). I do need to add, because there are huge gaps in the early fossil records that no fossilized wings have been found in the Devonian and no transitional forms have been recovered.

Ed Reinertsen