August 16, 2022
Scientists discover fossil of 'world's oldest predator'

Scientists discover fossil of ‘world’s oldest predator’

  • Jonathan Amos
  • BBC science reporter

attributed to him, Simon Harris / Ryan Kendall / BGS / UKRI

Illustrative image,

The illustration shows what Auroralumina attenboroughii might have looked like 560 million years ago

British scientists have discovered the fossil of the oldest known predator.

The 560-million-year-old specimen, found in the Charnwood Forest in Leicestershire, is likely a precursor to cnidarians – the group of animals that today includes jellyfish.

The researchers called Auroralumina attenboroughii to the fossil. It is a tribute to naturalist David Attenborough, historical BBC presenter.

The first part of the name is a reference to a Latin expression meaning “dawn of the lantern.”