Queuing for eternity: Fossils show lining up is primal urge

October 17, 2019 - 10:03 am
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BERLIN (AP) — Ever felt like you've been queuing up forever?

Scientists say fossils found in Morocco suggest the practice of forming orderly lines may date back 480 million years.

A study published Thursday in the journal Scientific Reports describes groups of blind trilobites, known as Ampyx, all facing in the same direction, apparently maintaining contact via their long rearward spines.

Co-author Jean Vannier of University of Lyon, France, said "living and moving in groups seems to have rapidly represented an evolutionary advantage among ancient animals."

Paleontologist Lucy McCobb of the National Museum Wales, who wasn't involved in the study, said that while similar 'conga lines' of fossilized Ampyx have been reported before, the researchers had built "a very strong case for the intentional lining up of the trilobites in response to some cue."

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