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2 Billion-Year-Old Fossils Are Earliest Known Multicellular Life

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n2doc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 02:30 PM
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2 Billion-Year-Old Fossils Are Earliest Known Multicellular Life
By Brandon Keim June 30, 2010 | 3:24 pm | Categories: Animals, Biology


A newly discovered group of 2.1 billion-year-old fossil organisms may be the earliest known example of complex life on Earth.

The fossils flat discs almost five inches across, with scalloped edges and radial slits were either complex colonies of single-celled organisms, or early animals.

Either way, they represent an early crossing of a critical evolutionary threshold, and suggest that the crossing was made necessary by radical changes in Earths atmosphere.

There is clearly a relationship between the concentration of oxygen and multicellularity, said Abderrazak El Albani, a paleobiologist at Frances University of Poitiers. The fossils are described June 30 in Nature.



Read More http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/06/early-multice...
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damntexdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 02:33 PM
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1. Ooh, the pollution of the atmosphere by early life led to radically new forms of life.
What will succeed us as we pollute the atmosphere today?
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hobbit709 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 03:19 PM
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2. The greatest ecological catastrophe in the history of the planet
when the methane breather's waste product killed them off.
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 06:37 PM
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3. one hypothesis is that early multicellularity allowed some cells and processes...
...to be sequestered from the toxic oxygen that was accumulating in the atmosphere. Collectives of single celled organisms would provide a natural evolutionary path for this, much like the reproductive specialization seen in modern Volvox and similar collective euglenoids.
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Cronus Protagonist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 07:16 PM
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4. They'd make lovely earrings
Bit of spray paint, a silver ear-hook, and Bob's yer uncle, there's a smart pair of earrings for under a pound!
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 01:58 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. A ceramic or polymer clay duplication would work
I copied the picture, and will try that.
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Orsino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 04:34 AM
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6. Tekeli-l! n/t
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