A billion year old fossil, which provides a new link in the evolution of animals, has been discovered in the Scottish Highlands.
- Scientists have discovered the fossil of an organism with two distinct cell types, thought to be the oldest of its kind ever recorded
- The fossil reveals a new insight into the transition of single-celled holozoa into more complex multicellular animals
- Found in the Scottish Highlands, the fossil suggests the evolution of animals occurred at least one billion years ago and may have occurred in freshwater lakes rather than the ocean
A team of scientists, led by the University of Sheffield in the UK and Boston College in the USA, has found a microfossil that contains two distinct cell types and could be the earliest multicellular animal ever recorded.
The fossil reveals new insight into the transition of single-celled organisms to complex multicellular animals. Modern single-celled holozoa include the most basal living animals, the fossil discovered shows an organism that lies somewhere between single-cell and multicellular animals.
The fossil has been described and formally named Bicellum Brasieri in a new research paper published in Current Biology.