60-million-year-old fossils found in China revolutionizing evolution of complex life

Three spherical fossils discovered in China are believed to be from the world’s earliest animals, dating back 600 million years.

Three spherical fossils discovered in China are believed to be from the world’s earliest animals, dating back 600 million years.

A new study, published in the journal Nature, entitled Cell differentiation and germ–soma separation in Ediacaran animal embryo-like fossils, reveals that the fossils, known as Megasphaera, are multicellular organisms from 60 million years before skeletal animals appeared on earth in what is known as the Cambrian Explosion.

For scientists, this has contradicted several longstanding theories about the evolution of multicellular organisms.

“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,” said Shuhai Xiao, a professor of geobiology in the Virginia Tech College of Science.

Read full original article: Megasphaera: Multicellular Fossils Discovered in China Date Back 60 Million Years Before Cambrian Explosion

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