Ear­lier than be­lieved

Down to Earth - - SCIENCE -

FOS­SILS FOUND in He­bei Prov­ince's Yan­shan re­gion, China, sug­gest that com­plex life on Earth be­gan more than 1.5 bil­lion years ago, nearly a bil­lion years ear­lier than pre­vi­ously thought. After emerg­ing from the pri­mor­dial soup, life re­mained prim­i­tive and uni­cel­lu­lar for bil­lions of years, but some of those cells even­tu­ally con­gre­gated like clones in a colony. There were huge leaps pe­ri­od­i­cally to­wards com­plex or­gan­isms. This tran­si­tion gave rise to all the plants and an­i­mals that have ever ex­isted. Na­ture Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, May 17

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