The discovery of a fossilised rabbit in the Burgess Shale may demolish one of the pillars of modern science, the theory of evolution. The late J. B. S. Haldane famously said that all it would take to falsify evolution is a single Cambrian rabbit fossil, and that is exactly what has been uncovered by paleontologist Dr Wilfred Splenebyrst of the London School of Ergonomics.
“I checked and double-checked the dating, and then checked it again with three independent labs,” said Dr Splenebyrst. “There really is no doubt. This is a 520-million year old rabbit fossil.”
The new fossil, Paleohyrax reprobae, differs from modern rabbits in a number of subtle anatomical ways, lending weight to it being truly a new species from the Cambrian era. “This is definitely not a modern rabbit,” said Dr Splenebyrst. “It was about half the size and may even have been carnivorous. It appears to have been foraging for trilobites in the ancient tidal pools.”
Due to its profound impact, the scientific paper has been released by Nature ahead of next week’s official publication. In a related story, the journal Nature will be renamed Realm from the next volume.