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Humankind's oldest ancestor found in the Burgess Shale

Fig. 17 Conway Morris and Caron.jpg
Reconstruction of Pikaia gracilens (Contributed by: Marianne Collins)

New research on a fossil first found almost a century ago at the Burgess Shale in Yoho National Park appears to be the earliest ancestor of human life yet uncovered.

The organism lived 505 million years ago, was about the size of a man's thumb and lived underwater.

It's the oldest known member of the chordates, a group that includes all animals that have a backbone.

Daybreak guest host Valerie McTavish spoke with Jean Bernard Caron from the Royal Ontario Museum. He is part of the research team that made the discovery, published today in the journal Biological Reviews.
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