"From an evolutionary point of view, Habelia is close to the point of divergence between chelicerates and mandibulates
. But its similarities with mandibulates
are secondary modifications of features that were in part already chelicerate in nature.
This Thraupidae, like other representatives of this family, mandibulates
the fruit before ingestion (Gridi-Papp et al., 2004), and can swallow the whole fruit (with the seeds) or part of it (Argel-de-Oliveira et al., 1996; Sick, 1997; Marcondes-Machado, 2002; Manhaes, 2003).
Mandibulates are all organisms from the very large and hyperdiverse group that include, among others, ants, flies, centipedes, crabs and insects.
Arthropods are a widely-found group of invertebrate animals that have hardened exoskeletons and segmented limbs, and mandibulates are a sub-group.
"We expect to find fossils of animals that have persisted from more ancient times, and I'm hopeful we will one day find the ancestral type of both the mandibulate and chelicerate nervous system ground patterns.
"Our new find is exciting because it shows that mandibulates (to which crustaceans belong) and chelicerates were already present as two distinct evolutionary trajectories 520 million years ago, which means their common ancestor must have existed much deeper in time.