Bicella brasieri turned up in a rock deposit in Scotland:
A team of microscopists, geologists, palynologists, and paleobiologists excavated and described the fossil microorganism, which they named Bicellum brasieri. It appears to be a member of holozoa, the group of organisms that contains animals and their single-celled relatives, but not fungi…
“We have found a primitive spherical organism made up of an arrangement of two distinct cell types, the first step towards a complex multicellular structure,” said Charles Wellman, a paleobiologist at the University of Sheffield, in a university press release, adding that it’s “something which has never been described before in the fossil record.”Isaac Schultz, “Scientists Find Billion-Year-Old Fossil Life, ‘Something Which Has Never Been Described Before’” at Gizmodo
We’ll come back to this when someone digs deeper and finds a life form with three distinct types of cells that is still older.
Interesting point — it was apparently a freshwater environment:
Earlier discoveries have confirmed the existence of such ancient multicellular life in oceans, some dating back over two billion years; it now seems possible that more than one evolutionary pathway led to the first multicellular lifeforms.Isaac Schultz, “Scientists Find Billion-Year-Old Fossil Life, ‘Something Which Has Never Been Described Before’” at Gizmodo
That’s dangerously close to saying that all life didn’t begin with a single cell. But weren’t we all ordered to believe that because the origin of life is so fantastically unlikely that it could only have happened once?
The paper is open access.