MAR 14, 2017 9:41 PM PDT

Say Hello to the World's Oldest Plant Fossil

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Fossils are relics left behind by time; they're alone and forgotten in places where even mother nature doesn’t get a chance to wash them away. Fortunately for scientists, that's a good thing.

While experts have found tons of animal-based fossils, ranging from birds, to reptiles, to amphibians (many of which are claimed to be some of the oldest-known), there’s currently a new fossil on the block that’s getting all the attention right now.

Image Credit: Stefan Bengtson

This particular discovery, which was made possible by Swedish researchers, is nothing short of interesting. At 1.6 billion years old, it's believed to be the oldest-known plant-like fossil ever discovered on record. The latest discovery pre-dates the previous record-holder by at least 400 million years.

The findings appear in the journal PLOS Biology.

“From what we know today, these are the oldest red algae ever found,” said study co-author Therese Sallstedt of the Swedish Museum of Natural History. "They show us that advanced life in the form of eukaryotes (like plants, fungi and us humans/animals) have a much deeper history on Earth than what we previously have thought."

The fossils, which are virtually microscopic in size, were discovered in India. They appear to be of a type of ancient red algae, although not much is yet known about it. Nevertheless, the age of the fossil suggests that this kind of algae existed long before we originally thought possible, and this means it existed alongside some of the Earth's earliest simple life forms.

While it wasn’t easy to determine that the fossils could possibly be this old, it was certainly jaw-dropping when the results were realized. Some of Earth’s earliest life dates back 3.5 billion years ago,

Just as we thought we were beginning to understand our planet and where all of its diverse life forms came from, this new research scraps our ideas and forces us to start over again.

It should be interesting to see what the next major fossil discovery will be, and moreover, how many more scientific theories it will put to rest. With every question that gets answered, it seems a truckload more take its place.

Source: EurekAlert

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
APR 14, 2020
Genetics & Genomics
How Deer Antlers Can Teach Us About Cancer Treatment
APR 14, 2020
How Deer Antlers Can Teach Us About Cancer Treatment
Deer antlers grow faster than cancerous tumors.
APR 16, 2020
Earth & The Environment
Are monarch butterflies stressed out?
APR 16, 2020
Are monarch butterflies stressed out?
Perhaps in your life you have participated in a project involving monarch butterflies. I can still remember being surpri ...
APR 24, 2020
Health & Medicine
Study Shows Marijuana Withdrawal is Real
APR 24, 2020
Study Shows Marijuana Withdrawal is Real
Whether or not an addiction to marijuana is a risk of the drug has been widely debated, with the general population typi ...
MAY 07, 2020
Health & Medicine
Mosquito Feeding Time Shift Impacts Malaria Prevention Methods
MAY 07, 2020
Mosquito Feeding Time Shift Impacts Malaria Prevention Methods
Thanks to the success of insecticide-treated bed nets, mosquitos seem to have shifted their feeding times away from the ...
MAY 22, 2020
Cell & Molecular Biology
Some Coral Turn Neon When Stressed
MAY 22, 2020
Some Coral Turn Neon When Stressed
Corals are immobile animals, and coral reefs are considered to be the most diverse ecosystems in the sea.
JUL 07, 2020
Cell & Molecular Biology
Anticancer Compound Found in Marine Bacteria
JUL 07, 2020
Anticancer Compound Found in Marine Bacteria
Bacteria live in symbiosis with many animals in the world. These tiny single-celled creatures often play crucial roles i ...
Loading Comments...