Fossilized Finds Prompt Rethinking of Natural History
The discovery of a group of half-billion-year-old fossilized embryos in China has given a glimpse of the very first animals to evolve on Earth, overturning the accepted picture of how life evolved.
We’ve completely characterized the embryos, and we see no features of any living animal group,” Philip Donoghue of the University of Bristol, one of the team, said. “In fact, we argue that these are embryos of a grade of animal evolution preceding all living groups. There is going to be a huge scrap over this.” “The really big deal is that we see no evidence of more complex animals, indicating that at 580 million years ago, they had not yet evolved.