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Sponges, believed to be oldest animals, are thought to be even older, at 890 mya


These findings would put animals millions of years older than earlier supposed:

Scientists predict that sponges—among the most basic animals—arose a few hundred million years before the occurrence of the oldest confirmed fossil specimens, which date to about 500 million years ago. Now, in a study published today (July 28) in Nature, Elizabeth Turner, a geologist at Laurentian University in Canada, identified structures in 890-million-year-old fossils of organisms similar to modern bath sponges, potentially pushing back the emergence of the animals to at least that long ago.

The work “gives good evidence that there were sponges living 890 million years ago, and that’s much older than any firm recognition of fossil sponges so far,” says Robert Riding, a geologist at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville who did not participate in the study. That record, until today, was held by fossils of purported sponges that are about 635 million years old, although their animal identity is not accepted by all researchers in the field.

In fact, if the new fossil finds are confirmed to be sponges, “they would be not just the oldest sponges; they would be the oldest animals,” Riding points out. To find any fossil more than 200 million years older than previous animal fossils “is significant,” he says.

Abby Olena, “890-Million-Year-Old Fossils Are Sponges, Oldest Animals: Study” at The Scientist (July 28, 2021)

Takehome: Each one of these “oldest” milestones reduces the time for blind Darwinism to work its magic.


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