Their age is estimated to be more than 555 million years old, placing the fossils in the last part of Precambrian times, called the Ediacaran Period. They provide a crucial view of Earth’s earliest evolution of multicellular life, which scientists now think started millions of years earlier than previously thought.
Scientists think that an explosion of animal diversity and complexity began near the start of the Cambrian Period, about 541 million years ago. But Dornbos said this fossil find is the latest example of multicellular life forms appearing in the preceding Ediacaran Period. More. Paper. (public access)
As the authors say, this helps us understand more about the history of life. What they don’t say is that it narrows the time frame for the whole thing to have just sort of happened.
Further study will likely provide much more information without providing much support for current theory.
See also: The metallome: New origin of life hopeful. If only life didn’t need to be alive, it would all be so much simpler.
What we know and don’t, know about the origin of life
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