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Fossil algae predating land flora sheds light on plant kingdom


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Paleontologists have identified a new genus and species of algae, called Protocodium sinense, which predates the origin of land plants and modern animals, providing new insight into the early diversification of the plant kingdom.

In a study published in BMC Biology, researches opened a window into a world of evolutionary puzzles that scientists are just beginning to unravel.

In recent years, Precambrian lifeforms have generated an ever-increasing interest because they revealed a rich eukaryotic diversity prior to the Cambrian explosion of modern animals.

Discovered at a site in China, this 541-million-year-old fossil is the first and oldest green alga from this era to be preserved in three dimensions, enabling the researchers to investigate its internal structure and identify the new specimen with unprecedented accuracy.



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