On the News @ Daily Mail
Oops! 600 million-year-old fossils thought to be the world’s earliest animals could simply be algae
“Ancient fossils that date back around 600 million years, were thought to be some of the world’s earliest examples of animal remains.
But a controversial new study claims that this may not be the case.
Researchers have re-examined the fossils, and believe that the remains could in fact be algae.
The Weng’an Biota are a group of well-preserved fossils in South China that were first discovered in 1998.
The fossils provide a snapshot of marine life during the time in which molecular clocks estimate that animal groups evolved.
Dr John Cunningham, from the University of Bristol’s School of Earth Sciences and an author of the study, said: ‘Dated at around 600 million years old, these rocks preserve an assemblage of microscopic fossils, perfectly-aged to be candidates for the oldest evidence of animal life.
‘These fossils aren’t recognisable as remains of fully grown animals, but some resemble embryos, ranging from single cells to clusters of thousands.” (…) READ MORE
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