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A microscopic but exceptionally well-preserved billion-year-old fossil has been found in the Scottish Highlands – it may be the first multicellularity ever known to science and the link between single-celled organisms and the first ‘animals’ on our planet. can be tight. .
The extraordinary discovery was made by researchers from the University of Sheffield (UK) and Boston College (USA) in an area called Basso Diabase near Loch Torridon in Wester Ross, Scotland.
It is a compact spherical shaped organism made up of two different types of cells – hence One of the earliest examples of being multicellular Known to science, perhaps for the first time, say the researchers who have identified it.
The fact that it is composed of only two different cell types suggests that it may also be the link between single-celled and multicellular organisms, i.e. first step towards animal world.
Professor Charles Wellman, from the University of Sheffield, said: “While the origin of complex multicellularity and the origin of animals are considered two of the most important events in the history of life on Earth, our discovery sheds new light on both. We have discovered a primitive spheroid. Organisms consisting of an arrangement of two distinct cell types, the first step towards a complex multicellular structure, something that has never been described in the fossil record before”.
The professor suggests that thanks to this discovery it can be said that multicellular animals evolved at least a billion years ago and may have been the first stages of animal evolution. In fresh water such as lakes, rather than in the seaBecause according to science at that time the water of that place should have been sweet.
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