It is only one millimeter, lived 540 million years ago, had a very large mouth and had no anus. This was the animal that gave birth to all the vertebrates of the planet being thus the oldest relative of Man.
A team of scientists has discovered the ancestor of all vertebrate animals that have ever existed in the world. This finding was possible through the analysis of a fossil found in China, named Saccorhytus, this being had a flat and elliptical body only one millimeter in length. According to some of the observations, this one had huge mouth, but apparently had no anus. He lived among grains of sand by the sea.
According to statements by Simon Conway Morris, a researcher at the University of Cambridge and one of the authors of the study, explained to New Scientist that the animal, the oldest “grandfather” of the human species and all vertebrates on Earth, had a skin Thin and flexible and also a muscular system that allowed him to crawl. He had to feed on the remains of other animals, but probably expelled the result of digestion through his mouth. Next to the mouth, the Saccorhytus had structures similar to horns that, according to scientists’ theory, may have given origin to the gills that we can see at fish.
All these characteristics place it in a group of animals called “deuterostomia”, from which vertebrates are also part. “We think that all deuterosomes have a common ancestor. We may be looking at it”, explains Simon Morris. Because so far, the oldest living beings in this group lived between 510 and 530 million years ago, and already had signs of differentiation in species (it was already possible to see differences between the fossils that gave rise to sea urchins and those that gave origin to starfish, for example).
Saccorhytus is 10 million years older than these fossils.