Classical Evolutionary Story Overturned: Our Mud-Slurping Chinless Ancestors Had All the Moves


Life restoration of Cephalaspis, a typical osteostracan, swimming over the substrate. Credit: Hugo Salais (Metazoa Studio)

A team of researchers, led by the University of Bristol, has revealed our most ancient ancestors were ecologically diverse, despite lacking jaws and paired fins.

Long before they evolved out of the water, our ancient ancestors were simple fish-like creatures, but without fins or chins, who survived by filtering nutrients from the sediment.

They have long been thought of as the lazy lumps who spent most of their lives resting on or near to the sea floor. The belief was that everything changed with the evolution of jawed vertebrates whose paired fins made them the super-swimmers and active predators, driving their jawless relatives to extinction.

However, a new study published in the journal Current Biology overturns this classical evolutionary story.

Researchers from the University of Bristol used computer simulations to explore how avatars of our extinct ancestors interacted with water currents. These experiments revealed the bizarre spikes and spines that ornamented the heads of these jawless vertebrates were actually hydrodynamic adaptations, passively generating lift from water currents flowing over the body. The varying head shapes of different species allowed them to adapt to different positions, some high, others low, within the water. Our ancient ancestors were already ecologically diverse, long before the evolution of their jawed vertebrate relatives.

Dr. Humberto G. Ferron, a postdoctoral researcher from the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Bristol and one of the paper’s co-authors, said: “The evolution of jaws and fins have classically been seen as the key evolutionary inventions that allowed vertebrates to diversify their lifestyles.

“In this context, jawless ancestors, characterized by the presence of heavy rigid headshields, were assumed to be cumbersome fish-like creatures, living on the bottom of rivers and seas, with poor maneuverability.”

The question of how our ancient ancestors made a living has long been a mystery because there are no animals like them alive today. The ‘osteostracans’ (their Latin name, meaning bony shells) were heavily armored, encased in thick bone from snout to tail. They lacked a rear pair of legs and some had none at all; many possessed bizarre horn-like extensions from the front of their heads.

Ferrón and colleagues tackled this problem using state-of-the-art computational engineering techniques that simulate the behavior of fossil avatars in water currents.

Dr. Imran Rahman, from the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, said: “The application of computational fluid dynamics, has allowed us to study the swimming performance of ancient vertebrates and learn more about their position in evolutionary history.”

Dr. Carlos Martinez Perez, from the University of Valencia (Spain), added: “Our simulations reveal that the different species of osteostracans show equally different hydrodynamic efficiencies. Some of them performed better when moving close to the sea floor or riverbed while others performed better when swimming freely in the water.”

Professor Phil Donoghue, another Bristol co-author, concluded: “The different species’ body shapes are adapted to different environments, revealing distinct lifestyles among these groups of jawless early vertebrates.

“Our results call into question the prevailing view that these extinct groups of jawless vertebrates were ecologically constrained and reveals the main evolutionary hypothesis for the origin of jawed vertebrates is more complex than previously thought.”

Reference: “Computational Fluid Dynamics Suggests Ecological Diversification among Stem-Gnathostomes” by Humberto G. Ferrón, Carlos Martínez-Pérez, Imran A. Rahman, Víctor Selles de Lucas, Héctor Botella and Philip C.J. Donoghue, 1 October 2020, Current Biology.
DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2020.09.031

37 Comments on "Classical Evolutionary Story Overturned: Our Mud-Slurping Chinless Ancestors Had All the Moves"

  1. Davids Gaisevskis | October 3, 2020 at 6:24 am | Reply

    Looks like a slipper!

  2. Yes the Creator/Designer/Elements Provider and Constructor of this amazing creation endowed it (like every other living thing) with incredible ADAPTABILITY within the limits of it’s on kind. No we are not distant cousins. Yes, we will meet the Creator/Designer/Constructor of life. No, sadly many will not be prepared for that meeting. Those who are will see all of creation later out before them. It’s like getting to study everything, at once in perpetuity. Amazing Future Awaits! That desire for a real future exists within us all.
    Ecclesiastes 3:11 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.
    Ecclesiastes 3:11 KJV

  3. evolution is completely a story, not real science

  4. God, had ASK you to not be STUPID.

  5. When are the predators going to be featured? All this talk of solid bone head gear and armour from tip of the nose to the endpoint of the tail.
    Must have been some powerful mean hunter on the loose to need all that protection.

  6. We keep reading and hearing about evolution as if its all been worked out and understood. Heck, they keep ramming this evolution down childrens throats and yet I keep seeing these articles that tell me scientists are still trying to figure out how life began. Creation and design by God. Brains and hearts etc dont just happen randomly by lucky accident. Life, the solar system and nature are far too complex to have just happened. Stop being fools looking for answers when it never happened by evilution. Seek God and salvation while you still are able. Jesus WILL return and we will all give an account of our life before him.

  7. Explain why these retards are being funded to come up with this idiotic crap. Evolution will never be proven. Never. It’s such lies and bs, even God REFUSES to allow y’all to call it anything but a ‘theory’, which is code for ‘we made this up’. You are unable to call it fact. The majority of the autistic trash you so-called ‘scientists’ post is ‘maybe this, perhaps that, could be, might be’ etc, when you know it’s a dysfunctional lie. It serves absolutely no purpose but to confuse and mislead people. If you didn’t believe in a Creator, you wouldn’t put so much effort into creating a completely false alternative. Only thing accidental and randomly put together seems to be your intelligence, or rather, lack thereof. The laws of ‘nature’ are governed, just like everything else in life is. Your lies won’t help you.

  8. “Evilution”, I like that ! It gets the message across of how terrible these hootin’ hollerin’ lies are, and without adding any extra syllables. That’s efficiency.
    The less acute among us probably didn’t get the wordplay here so I’ll explain to y’all, it’s evil and evolution merged into one, it’s called a port-manteau y’all, like, evil and then lution, which they probably need when they’re self-loving thinking about the mass deception they’re propagating!
    Everybody knows we come from god,
    If you don’t believe me, just read:
    REVELATIONS 22:20!

  9. have I stumbled upon grand central ignorant hysterical morons station ?

    • Science takes observable evidence of the world and uses that evidence to try and understand how the world works. Science (even evolutionary science) doesn’t rule out the possibility of God or the possibility that God was the designer of natural selection, but observable evidence to support those things just hasn’t come to light.

      Religion, cults, fundamentalism, etc. Start with a presumed answer and attempt to fit the observable evidence to support that conclusion. If evidence refuting that answer is found, it is typcially discarded or “explained away” so as not to damage the initial belief.

      So many people are so committed to their view that they understandably get angry when credible evidence (and the general consensus among experts) disagree with their very personally held “truth.”

      Don’t tell me you “know” the answers… Science has not yet discovered the origin of life, but whether that origin turns out to be God, evolution, or 4-dimensional alien ghosts, the evidence will speak for itself.

  10. Traxxus is the only one here with an intelligent comment. Everyone else sounds like an angry religious fool with no argument.

  11. Religion is not evolutionary beneficial. It’s a mutation. Five factors: low IQ, neurotic, high hystrionic, low hypergamic value, malnutrition. Possibly scizo a or scizo b. Religion as we know it emerged at the same time we experimented with domestication. We might have created those beasts of burden. The commentsection is overflowing with love of the xtians.

  12. So this is what religious nut jobs do anymore; search out every article on evolution and s#!t on simple theory they could easily look into for themselves.
    Ya’ll look despite.

  13. Robert John Hebert | October 4, 2020 at 6:48 am | Reply


  14. Don’t argue with them. They quote the bible without understanding it’s creation. They think it was written in english and context today is the same as 2k years ago. When you read the Bible in context it’s a lot less silly.

    • Its utter foolishness when people mix theory of evolution with god!
      Material is awesome and enjoyable when seen with scientific view. There are various religious views about shape of earth. So once man went to space and saw earth as sphere, existence of god was not disproved. So a similar treatment will be there for religious views on evolution even if Darwin’s theory of evolution is proved.

  15. So you “evolution is the devil” people do not represent your religion very well. Evolution has happened everywhere, there isn’t any arguing against it, y’all should be claiming that god set it into motion, rather than arguing against fact. “Jesus is coming back” he’s been on his way for quite some time, did he take a wrong turn?

  16. Richard Corriston | October 4, 2020 at 8:08 am | Reply

    Evolution. A series of fortuitous random events coupled with a multiplicity of beneficial mutations over an inconceivable amount of time transforms the cold blooded amphibian into a warm blooded mammal.

  17. Well, since the first line of the second paragraph describes me completely, I personally cannot dispute their findings.

  18. Read Webster's | October 4, 2020 at 8:56 am | Reply

    How is evolution a theory? We have scientific proof showing humans 100 years ago looked and had different bodily functions and immunities to fight of different diesease. Maybe the argument here is people don’t know the definition of evolution…..?

  19. The common scientific paradigm rapidly falls apart under epistemological and ontological scrutiny. It gets worse; closely dissected, the paradigm shreds knowable existence of evidence itself, as well as one’s own closest experience as impartial observer. In short, it fails at all levels. Its use distorts our ability to know and experience the world.

    These basic conflicts erect insurmountable barriers to envision the universe from small to large, as a single physics. Simple remedy exists, but involves disruptive solution.

  20. We have overwhelming evidence for Evolution; the ‘false’ part consists in notions of randomness and happenstance. The process descriptions fail, not the fact.

  21. Evolutionists make up total garbage and call it “science”. This article is anything but science. It’s believed on the basis of speculation, which is faith, not “science”. So, stop calling evolution “science” and reference it properly as the faith-based religion that the bankrupt hypothesis has become.

  22. If the money from these ridiculous “research studies” on evolution and studies on moving 7 billion people to “other planets” was put in an interest bearing account and the interest alone was given to educate and house people on the streets and the extremely poor we could remove well over 3/4 of them into positions of community farming, cleanup services, and other services to help humanity. The money would be given out by a lottery type draw to prevent any imbezzlement and prejudice or favoritism of specific people. No pay of a governing board but a volunteer money manager with nothing to gain other that a feather in their cap for success. Using direct payment to education centers and housing with a monthly startup account upon graduation from the program with personal success increasing income.
    It could also be better spent if you just took the money and housed people on the street into 1 bedroom studio apartments for 6 months to 1 year while they got back on their own feet from whatever took them down.

  23. ^^^ I see team FSB has been here to propagate their “respect” for folklore. Ugh.

  24. For all the religious folks commenting here. If you were given a brain to discover the universe, would you think your creator would be opposed?

    If the answer is yes, god would hace stopped evolucion when ants first appeared. The mistery of it all is what have proppelled believers AND not believers to search for the truth.

  25. It’s a hypothesis until you can repeat the experiment.

  26. Oh look…a bunch of Christian Nationalist crybabies who actually think they are convincing ANYONE…when are you guys going to overturn Methodological Naturalism because in History…that has never happened. Funny how the opposite, a natural explanation – has ALWAYS overturned the pseudoscientific metaphysical claim. Every – single – time.

    Just to let you Jesus Culture War clowns know…Creationism lost in the 1800s. This is no discussion anymore…except maybe Online….oh…i forgot Kitzmollerversus Dover…THAT was embarrassing for you Pseudoscience Bible thumpers🤣

  27. Milby63…no. I think taxing churches would bring more money in. I’m glad to see it gets you upset to know that Evolution has completely destroyed your fable. And it has you so much going you just have to waste your and our time with your zero evidence Bible fairytale.

  28. “The common scientific paradigm rapidly falls apart under epistemological and ontological scrutiny” LOL no, it doesn’t. Think about it: every single living thing that existed today, and in the past, had parents. The “scientific paradigm” proposes a very gradual step by step process; the “fish” stage of evolution is actually setting the “skull and bony skeleton” phase of the evolution of vertebrates.

    Meanwhile, Creationists continue to proffer their empty insults and ignorant declarations to actually explaining the question of how exactly this alternative “creation event” took place. What kind of materials did God use to “independently” “speak into existence” all these numerous living species (including things like Bobbit worms and tongue-eating isopods?) How did they come into existence without parents? What was the matrix from which they emerged? We have never witnessed complex living organisms emerging, fully formed, from non-living sources. Or are we just supposed to be happy with “Goddidit?”

    Not only that, but you propose a false dichotomy by implying that the superficially understood, “poofed into existence” interpretation of the Judeo-Xian creation myth must be the only possible alternative scenario. Are you that lacking in education (and/or imagination?) What about the creation scenarios of other cultures? The Hindu myth, as I understand, incorporates some evolution-like concepts. Or supposing there is or was a creator – but quite different from what has been described in the world’s institutionalized religions?

  29. Do not need further on this, who Is the rather of Genetics ?

    A monk mamed Gregor Mendel, he wanted to know more of what rules existed and was not destroyed with a lightning. He was not betraying his god he was finding it.

    Be more curious, there is a lot to wonder and discover.

  30. Darwin’s Origin of Species is the foundation for the modern theory of evolution. Having actually read his work; it describes adaptation in species perfectly (ex: using Mendelian inheritance law: offspring of 2 thick billed black birds: 1 white feathered with a skinny bill, 1 gray feathered with a skinny bill, 1 gray with a thick bill, 1 black with a thick bill. If the environment is full of dark foliage and walnuts, most likely the 2 dark feathered thick billed birds will survive thus propagating those traits.)
    However they are still just birds and each generation will continue to be birds. Evolution takes a very non scientific leap in saying that one species can “evolve” into a different species. The DNA of a bird will always be the genetic information for a bird; avian DNA will never transform or mutate into an otter. Evolution is and will always be theory because it cannot and has not been actually observed.
    One of the few actual experiments being conducted, based on the scientific method; the hypothesis of introduction of environmental changes will cause ecoli bacteria to fundamentally change into a new species of bacteria. The experiment has been running since the the 70s and ecoli reproduce so rapidly that millions of generations have been born, propagated, and died. After running hundreds of environmental intro trials; one of 2 things would happen: either the environmental change killed off 98% of the bacteria or did nothing. The original ecoli strain fathered billions over millions of generations and their current offspring are still ecoli. Conclusion, one species of organism no matter the number of generations, in different environments, does not result in a novel species. Remember years don’t matter- billions or millions of years means nothing change occurs from one generation to the next.
    Another problem, the theory of evolution has a presumptive conclusion; Faith that it actually happened with no observations of it actually happening.
    Another Another Problem: for a species to reproduce with a healthy gene pool and good chance at survival you need at least 30 breeding pairs, so 60 individual organisms. Take the missing link between fish and land animals; water to air breathers. If it actually occurred; you would need the first air breathing creature which magically happened based on DNA designed for water breathing species. You would also need 30 males and 30 females all who evolved at the same time, to meet, to breed, and survive. It’s the equivalent of humans producing 60 offspring that can breath underwater yet their DNA never had the information to produce a water breathing human.
    A Big Big problem: the evolution ace in the hole? Random mutations: medically speaking random mutations result in miscarriages, stillborns, horrible deformities, intellectual development disorders, etc…. same in veterinarian science. Random mutations to evolutionists are what miracles are to religions.
    We have plenty of bones and evidence based on computational models of how an extinct creature did this and that; I’m sure I’ll be attacked for what I’ve said but I’m pointing huge flaws and questions that need serious answers. Thank you

    • They will never have any sufficient evidence to prove interspecies evolution. They regularly post pointless hallucinations like this solely for the sake of sowing confusion.
      Their main problem, (because of never having actually studied the Word of God),is that they incorrectly assume God should be visibly interactive with mankind as He was in the Old Testament. What they fail to consider is that the Israelites rejected God and requested a human King, (Saul), at which point God informed them of all the negative effects this would cause; being taxed, taking daughters for wives and sending sons to die in wars, stealing the labor of their hands, etc, yet they insisted. So God gave them a human King and removed Himself from mankind. Old Testament Covenant was live by die by law.
      Rather than just allow His creation to perish from their own lack of governing ability, in His sagacity, God made a new Covenant.
      New Testament Covenant only requires faith, belief and confession of that belief, and that is why we have free will to choose Him now, unlike when He was physically present at all times. Nope. You don’t have to choose to believe without seeing God, just keep believing in ‘coincidence’ ‘aliens’ ‘ideology’ and all the other s#!t you can’t see, yet has no power to make you what God created us to be…… In His Image and Likeness, God created man to become God. All as one.

  31. For all the religious Jesus nuts, stop spreading your delusional drivel. There was a. Cool dude long time ago that was a uniter, unlike the other dude u workshop, trump. Evolution consists of various theories just like physics and relativity, string theory and so on. Read and understand the various theories as they are interesting perspectives, however that’s just it, they are theories. Nobody knows the answer to how big the universe is, what’s behind the universe, is it infinite,,? Does it have a beginning and end? Are we the descendants of the elohim or ancient Sumerians correct about how we got here? Atlantis and other lost civilizations. It’s all theories. Nobody knows. PeriodT.

  32. A million people just died from a disease that just last year evolved from another, similar disease. Everyone on Earth understands this. Except the republicans, who go on and on and on about god. A god which either sent the virus or cannot stop it… right?

    There is nothing in the universe so difficult to teach as a conservative.

  33. This 2020 study on osteostracans would have benefitted by citing a 1999 study on sturgeon swimming abilities and techniques. More details here:

    For those interested in seeing a family tree of 1742 vertebrates documenting a gradual accumulation of traits between every included genus, click here, and links therein:

  34. Its utter foolishness when people mix theory of evolution with god!
    Material is awesome and enjoyable when seen with scientific view. There are various religious views about shape of earth. So once man went to space and saw earth as sphere, existence of god was not disproved. So a similar treatment will be there for religious views on evolution even if Darwin’s theory of evolution is proved.

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