Jun 26, 2019
A group of researchers have truly hit jackpot!
They have discovered microfossils containing remnants of ancient single-cell organisms that were living roughly 1 billion years ago, so exceptionally preserved that you can see the distinct cellular structures inside.
These ancient cells then died, and quickly after death certain solids in their organelles condensed, leaving an imprint of what they might have looked like.
- An ancient cyanobacterium known as Glenobotrydion aenigmatis that has internal structures more or less spread out within the cell.
- Spheroidal coccus bacteria
- An eukaryotic cell, which are cells that have a nucleus separated from the rest, like humans, plants, and fungi.
The microfossils and cells discovered in the Cailleach Head Formation, ana ancient lake in Scotland. Wacey et al. Scientific Reports. CC 4.0
Exceptional preservationAccording to the scientists, the exceptional preservation of these fossils is due to the presence of two rare earth element phosphate minerals, monazite and xenotime, which had precipitated and hardened, fossilizing the cells and their insides.
Other, older fossilized cells have been found before, but this discovery is the first reported instance of the incredibly preserved structure of inner cells thanks to rare earth element phosphates.
These new findings open a brand new window into our distant past and are incredibly important to understand microorganisms that lived in the Precambrian epoch, their biology and the ecosystems they lived in.
MORE HERE: http://strangesounds.org/2019/06/cells-fossils-1-billion-year-old-scotland-ancient-lake.html
Thanks to: http://strangesounds.org