World's oldest plant fossil pushes evolution of complex life back 400 million yr
The world’s oldest fossilised plants have been found in rocks in central India, pushing back the first evolution of complex life on Earth by hundreds of millions of years.
It is a finding that suggests the so-called ‘Cambrian Explosion’ of plant and animal life about 600 million years ago may have taken much longer to develop than previously thought.
A student in Sweden made the stunning discovery while examining seemingly innocuous fossilised microbes dating from 1.6 billion years ago taken from rocks in Chitrakoot, central India.
As Therese Sallstedt looked at the samples of primitive, single-cell life through a microscope in her lab in Stockholm, she spotted something rather indistinct that seemed too advanced for the period.
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