Virginia Tech® home

Geosciences professor discovers 550 million-year-old fossil

Loading player for
Category: research Video duration: Geosciences professor discovers 550 million-year-old fossil
Virginia Tech Professor of Geosciences Shuhai Xiao and a team of scientists finds what could be one of the first trails made by animals on the surface of the Earth.
[00:00:00] >> I'm Shuhai Xiao and I'm a professor of geobiology at the Department Geosciences. What we found is the footprint and the animals that made the footprint. So that's a key discovery. It turns out that this animal that made this trail is a what we call a bilaterally symmetric animal that has a head and tail, a belly and back side, a left and right side and more than that, it's a segmented animal that has repeated segments along the body length So it's a very, very important discovery in terms of you know, identifying who made the trails and how and when animal mobility started. [00:00:48] This is just the beginning of resolving the puzzle. So you know this is one of the first fossil discoveries where we can link the trails and the animals or the trail makers. It's relevant because animals are an important geological agent and they are so because they can move. [00:01:08] Animals leave a big footprint on the earth, both literally and metaphorically.