Polish student joins scientists studying conodont skeletons


Research on conodont skeletons was conducted by Isabella Leonhard, a PhD student from the Faculty of Biology, the University of Warsaw, in cooperation with scientists from the University of Utrecht, the Museum of Natural History at the University of Oxford and the American research agency US Geological Survey will allow scientists to learn about their lifestyle and place they occupied in the oldest food chains on Earth.

Conodonts belonged to the first vertebrates to inhabit the waters of ancient oceans almost 500 million years ago. Their teeth are the most studied fossil elements.

The conducted research answered the question of whether the appearance of tooth-like structures led to the emergence of predators. The results of the research show that although the earliest forms of conodonts developed hardened skeletal teeth-like elements, they were far from being called predators. They differed from the advanced forms that had already developed sharp cutting organs and nurtured like predators or scavengers.