Oldest yet seaweed and worm fossils

Oldest yet seaweed and worm fossils - nsf.gov - National...

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NSF Web Site Press Release 11-035 Oldest Fossils of Large Seaweeds, Worm-like Animals Tell Story of Ancient Oxygen Geobiologists uncover Davy Jones Locker of fossils near small village in south China Seaweed holdfast, a 600 million-year-old fossil from the Lantian Formation in China. Credit and Larger Version February 16, 2011 Almost 600 million years ago, before the rapid evolution of life forms known as the Cambrian explosion, a community of seaweeds and worm-like animals lived in a quiet deep-water niche near what is now Lantian, a small village in south China. Then they simply died, leaving some 3,000 nearly pristine fossils preserved between beds of black shale deposited in oxygen-free and unbreathable waters. Scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Virginia Tech in the United States and Northwest University in Xi'an, China report the discovery of the fossils in this week's issue of the journal Nature . In addition to ancient versions of algae and worms, the Lantian biota--named for its location--included macrofossils with complex and puzzling structures. In all, scientists have identified some 15 species at the site. The fossils suggest that structural diversification of macroscopic eukaryotes--the earliest versions of organisms with complex cell structures--may have occurred only tens of millions of years after the Snowball Earth event that ended 635 million years ago. Snowball Earth proposes that the Earth's surface became almost, or completely, frozen at least once during the planet's history. The presence of macroscopic eukaryotes in the highly organic-rich black shale
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This note was uploaded on 09/29/2011 for the course BIO 201 taught by Professor True during the Spring '08 term at SUNY Stony Brook.

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Oldest yet seaweed and worm fossils - nsf.gov - National...

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