Ediacaran reef yields new organisms
This is more of a heads up, because the details have yet to be released. Nonetheless, it is almost certainly one of the most important paleontological finds of recent years. Here’s an excerpt:
The reef is about 650 million years old and is the only known reef complex of this age anywhere in the world. The next closest aged series of reefs found to-date are around 800 million years old and located in Arctic Canada.
And while they are yet to confirm it scientifically, the scientists – Mr Jonathan Giddings, Associate Professor Malcolm Wallace and Ms Estee Woon from the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Melbourne – believe that peculiar fossils of possible multi-cellular organisms found in the reef could be the earliest examples of primitive animal life discovered to-date.
And a bit further down:
It is a particularly intriguing period because it also coincided with the sudden and widespread appearance of very early primitive lifeforms.
“This reef is an internationally significant discovery because it provides a significant step forward in showing the extent of climate change in Earth’s past and the evolution of ancient reef complexes – and it also contains fossils which may be of the earliest known primitive animals” Mr Giddings said.
“There is a good chance that the new fossils and organisms found in the reef will provide significant insight into the evolution of early multi-cellular life. It could prove that life took more complex forms much earlier in history than we previously thought.
Of course this will be significant primarily for the scientific knowledge it produces. But it again emphasizes the fact that the Cambrian is not the “creation event” that the IDists want it to be.
Anyway, we should know more on September 25, when the facts are presented.