A chain of mystifying spherical fossils originated in Southern China seems to be the leftovers of some of the world’s most primitive animals.
According to the recent study, these notorious fossils are not expected to be bacteria or single celled protists. Their cells are quite complex and differentiated, which were seized in rock from over 600 billion years ago. Though, these spherical fossils might be multi-cellular algae or even the embryos of primitive animals.
Shuhai Xiao (researcher), a geobiologist at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg stated that, “The existent worth of these spherical fossils is that, we are having some clear proofs regarding how the evolution of single-celled organisms to things like animals and plants happened in the past.”
Multi-Cellular and Differentiated
According to the researchers, these spherical fossils, which are named as ‘Megasphaera’, originated in Sothern China in a rock layer known as Doushantuo Formation. Xiao told that, I studied the Megasphaera samples way back in 1998 and concluded that they may be animal embryos.
Every spherical fossil gauges a mere of 0.03 inches. Though, the researchers said that, there are no such animals that might have produced these embryos, leaving the identity of the fossils open to study. Xiao told Live Science that, ancient Megasphaera fossils were hauled out from a grey-rock the Doushantuo Formation. Presently, he and his fellow colleagues have accomplished in hauling more impossible-to-find fossils from the formation of black rocks.
The researchers told that, we have wedged the rock into ultra-thin pieces and found shine light through the fossils to view the formation inside similar to stained glass. With the help of microscopy, the researchers have observed the manifold of cells sliced together in spherical clusters. These cells are dissimilar to one another in the size and shape proposing that they have formed various tissue types with the method called as cell differentiation and apparently have dissimilar cellular functions, Xiao claimed.
He further told that, these fossils are showing the signs of complexity of multi-cellular organisms, which you were not present in bacteria and protists.
Along with the cells, there were clusters consisted of smaller cells as compared to the rest of fossils. As of their snuggled look, the researchers called these clusters as ‘matryoshkas’ later than the word for Russian nesting dolls. They supposed these clusters as reproductive cells.
Animal or Plant Like?
Xiao told that, some of these fossils have peripheral layers which are dissimilar to the interior cells. He further stated that, “These fossils are multi-celled with the cellular differentiation and they too have separate reproductive cells from sterile somatic body cells. This is quite astonishing, as if you see the contemporary multi-cellular organisms, including animals; this seems to be the serious step towards very complex multi-cellular organisms.”
Xiao stated that, these spherical fossils might therefore signify the transition between single-celled life and multi-cellular animals. Though, their composition is quite similar to algal life forms, implication that the fossils can be plant like instead.