Reconstruction of Protocinctus. Credit: O. Sanisidro
Scientists have used computer simulations to reconstruct the feeding style of Protocinctus mansillaensis, an echinoderm that is a common ancestor shared between humans and starfish, which lived 510 million years.The results of the computer simulations show that the animal fed by actively drawing water into its mouth using internal gill slits, rather than passively waiting for food to come to it. Because the fossil represents one of the earliest ever echinoderms, this also suggests that the ancestor of echinoderms and vertebrates employed the same feeding strategy. Read more at Phys Org.