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newly discovered fossils maybe Earth's earliest animals

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posted on Oct, 1 2014 @ 10:43 AM
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Multicellular Source

Good morning fellow above top secretions ,
So this may be the first indication of the missing link between single cell and multicellular life.
The point at which our earliest ancestors became a primitive pile of goop. Which I guess was a great achievement at that time.


When scientists from Virginia Tech and the Chinese Academy of Sciences recently studied three bizarre spherical fossilsthat date back from 600 million years ago, they were perplexed: analysis of the fossils indicated that they were multicellular lifeforms.

....

"This opens up a new door for us to shine some light on the timing and evolutionary steps that were taken by multicellular organisms that would eventually go on to dominate the Earth in a very visible way," says Shuhai Xiao, professor of geobiologyin the Virginia Tech College of Science. "Fossils similar to these have been interpreted as bacteria, single-cell eukaryotes, algae, and transitional forms related to modern animals such as sponges, sea anemones, or bilaterally symmetrical animals."


Multicellular link to images





edit on 1-10-2014 by dashen because: (no reason given)




posted on Oct, 1 2014 @ 12:07 PM
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There is an error (typo?) in the article you linked. In the 2nd paragraph, it says:


However, this is contradictory to what scientists currently believe: that single-celled organisms did not evolve into multicellular beings until just about 60 million years ago, much later than the period of history that these fossils came from.


That cannot be correct. Obviously there were multicelled animals prior to 60 million years ago (such as the dinosaurs). Multicelled life was thought to have become common around the time of this fossil mentioned in the OP, and that was around 600 million years ago.

Maybe they meant to write "600 million years ago", but then the next phrase that reads "...much later than the period of history that these fossils came from" would not be accurate. 600 million to 650 million years ago is just about when science believes that multicellular life really took off.

Granted, the fossil in the OP may be the earliest example of complex multicelled life, with specialized organs and other structures, but I just thought the error regarding the "60 million years ago" should be pointed out before people get confused.

By the way, there have been findings of other multicelled life fossils dating back even farther than the one mentioned in the OP (some are over 1 Billion years old), but the significance of the one mentioned in the OP may be that it shows greater structure, as if it is already an advanced form of multicellular life that lived at a time that multicellular life was not thought to have such structure.


edit on 10/1/2014 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 1 2014 @ 12:11 PM
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a reply to: dashen

Great find and post, thanks. Let's not forget that a single-cell is not "simple". Many times I've read or heard the term 'a simple single-cell organism', but a cell is just about the most amazing collection of biological machines and inter-related and possibly accidental biological programming there is, and all the rest is just icing on the cake.

Here's the cake:

edit on 1-10-2014 by Aleister because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 1 2014 @ 12:13 PM
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I concur with SGIP, 60 million years is far to early.

Oh, and btw, I laughed quite hard at this, cheers



originally posted by: dashen

Good morning fellow above top secretions


se·cre·tion 1 (s-krshn)
n.
1. The process of secreting a substance, especially one that is not a waste, from the blood or cells: secretion of hormones; secretion of milk by the mammary glands.

2. A substance, such as saliva, mucus, tears, bile, or a hormone, that is secreted.



posted on Oct, 1 2014 @ 12:55 PM
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a reply to: Soylent Green Is People

I think the distinction here is the discovery of specialized cells in a multicellular organism for the first time in the fossil record.



posted on Oct, 1 2014 @ 12:58 PM
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I am a little distracted by the first comment on the article.

"However, this is contradictory to what scientists currently believe: that single-celled organisms did not evolve into multicellular beings until just about 60 million years ago, much later than the period of history that these fossils came from."

The 60 million year figure is wrong. 60 million years ago, there were dinosaurs on the planet and they certainly would qualify as multicellular beings.

- Taken from the comments.

This is pretty interesting, I wonder how it fits within a geological timescale? If it actually makes any sense after all...
edit on 1-10-2014 by strongfp because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 1 2014 @ 01:12 PM
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a reply to: Soylent Green Is People

Yeah, there's something really screwed about this article. The oldest single celled fossils go back about 3.5 billion years. The oldest multicellular fossils go back about 2.1 billion years. 60 million years... lol!



posted on Oct, 1 2014 @ 03:08 PM
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Here is a less wacky link.
what they meant was 60 million years before the Cambrian explosion.
Multicellular link




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