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Tiny 2-billion-year-old fossil blobs may be the oldest complex cells

Life 15 February 2020 By Michael Marshall China’s Wutai mountains might be home to the world’s oldest eukaryote fossilsXinhua/AlamyFossils of single cells have been found in 2-billion-year-old rocks in China. The microfossils may be the oldest examples of complex eukaryotic cells in the fossil record – in which case they may be our distant ancestors.…



Life



15 February 2020

By Michael Marshall

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China’s Wutai mountains might be home to the world’s oldest eukaryote fossils

Xinhua/Alamy

Fossils of single cells have been found in 2-billion-year-old rocks in China. The microfossils may be the oldest examples of complex eukaryotic cells in the fossil record – in which case they may be our distant ancestors.

Leiming Yin at the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology in China and his colleagues found the fossils in a set of rocks called the Hutuo Group in the Wutai mountains in northern China. Previous studies have shown that the rocks were laid down between 2.15 and 1.95 billion years ago. …

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