- Not Exactly Rocket Science
Pocket Science – 2.1 billion year old fossils, and arm-wrestling a sabre-tooth cat
These unassuming fossils may be some of the earliest known examples of complex life on Earth, composed of many cells (like animals and plants) rather than just one (like bacteria). They were uncovered in Gabon by a Abderrazak El Albani from the University of Poitiers, and they’re around 2.1 billion years old. They have been preserved in remarkable detail for their age. They are centimetres in length, and El Albani thinks that they’re probably some of the oldest multi-cellular organisms so far discovered. If he’s right, they’re half a billion years older than the previous record-holders.
Leading a team of 21 scientists, El Albani has painstakingly analysed the fossils. Their three-dimensional structure came with radial slits, scalloped margins and a complicated