New paper out in Nature Ecology & Evolution supports earlier origin of animal life

with No Comments


Did you know that chemical compounds can also be fossilized? When it happens, they become evidence for the presence of particular organisms in ancient rocks. This is the lead for a new paper by Zumberge & colleagues in Nature Ecology and Evolution.

The researchers, including our team member Paco Cárdenas, could unambiguously link one such fossil biomarker to precursor sterols only found in several modern sponges – including some deep-sea ones. These specific fossil biomarkers reinforce the view that sponges (and therefore animals) existed already in the Neoproterozoic – at least 100 Mya before the Cambrian Explosion of animal diversity.

See Paco in 2006, already looking forward to this discovery!

Update! The paper has made it to the headlines. Have a look below: