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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."
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.
originally posted by: dashen
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