Weekdier's ancestor discovered in Morocco

By the discovery of 480 million years old fossils North of Zagora, is one of the common ancestors of molluscs traced, according to a study on February 6, published in the scientific journal Nature.

The discovery of fossils in the Fezouata formation in the South-East of Morocco has made it possible for paleontologists to trace the pedigree of mollusk species, particularly those of marine molluscs which are still being found in the oceans around the world.

Live molluscs range from 50,000 up to a maximum of 120,000 kinds, from snails to cuttlefish and oysters. The variety of species made it difficult for scientists to detect the oldest ancestor of the group.

Previous studies on the origin of the species have suggested that the oldest molluscs about 535 million years ago have evolved. Previous studies have also estimated that the first week had no shell animals, but the recent discovery of the fossils in Morocco suggest that the oldest species of that group had a hardened structure, made of calcium carbonate, which served as shell.

This is not the first time that researchers have discovered paleontological treasures in Morocco. In the beginning of January a team of Spanish scientists announced the discovery of a new kind of Fezouata in , a type of marine bug that almost 500 million years ago.