Mongolian Microfossils Point to the Rise of Animals on EarthDecember 14, 2017 / Posted by: Miki Huynh
Assorted microfossils from the Ediacaran Khesen Formation, Mongolia. Each fossil is on the order of 200 microns maximum dimension. Source: Yale University
A Yale-led research team has discovered a cache of embryo-like microfossils in northern Mongolia that may shed light on questions about the long-ago shift from microbes to animals on Earth.
Called the Khesen Formation, the site is one of the most significant for early Earth fossils since the discovery of the Doushantuo Formation in southern China nearly 20 years ago. The Dousantuo Formation is 600 million years old; the Khesen Formation is younger, at about 540 million years old.
“Understanding how and when animals evolved has proved very difficult for paleontologists. The discovery of an exceptionally well-preserved fossil assemblage with animal embryo-like fossils gives us a new window onto a critical transition in life’s history,” said Yale graduate student Ross Anderson, first author of a study in the journal Geology.
Read the full press release by Jim Shelton at YaleNews.
- Reassessing Exoplanet Meteorology from the Thermal Phase Variations
- Astrobiology on Netflix
- The Momentous Transition to Multicellular Life is Not So Hard Afterall
- Rethinking Planetary Climate Controls
- Oman Drilling Project: An Ancient Seabed Holds Secrets in the Search for Life on Other Planets
- Seminar: GSFC Summer Research Associate 2018 Presentations
- NASA Statement on Possible Subsurface Lake near Martian South Pole
- From Habitability to Life on Mars
- Life Underground - Available to Play
- Electron Acceptors and Carbon Sources for a Thermoacidophilic Archaea