A New Date for Multicellular Organisms? Fossil Spheres Point to 600 Million Years Ago

September 25, 2014 7:03 PM

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A New Date for Multicellular Organisms? Fossil Spheres Point to 600 Million Years Ago

A new study suggests multicellular organisms existed more than 600 million years ago, about 60 million years before skeletal animals began appearing in a period known as the Cambrian Explosion. Back in 1998, scientists discovered strange fossils shaped as spheres in southern China. Since the discovery, researchers have been trying to figure out exactly what these fossils, known as Megasphaera, are.

Research, published this week in Nature, suggests that the fossils could be multicellular algae, or maybe even the embryos of ancient animals.

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