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Dickinsonia is world's oldest known animal


Posted on Friday, 21 September, 2018 | Comment icon 14 comments

Dickinsonia has puzzled scientists for years. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Verisimilus
A new study has cast further light on a mystery fossil that scientists say is as 'strange as life on another planet'.
Resembling a strange cross between a fungus, a lichen, a worm and a jellyfish, this peculiar organism was first described back in 1947 and has remained something of an enigma ever since.

Dickinsonia lived hundreds of millions of years ago on the sea floor and ranged in size from a few millimeters across to around half a meter. What's particularly intriguing about the species is that it was one of the earliest known organisms to move around rather than simply staying rooted to the spot.
Now in a new study, scientists at The Australian National University (ANU) have managed to learn more about these peculiar organisms thanks to the discovery of additional Dickinsonia fossils with organic tissue preserved within the impressions left behind by the creatures' bodies.

"Scientists have been fighting for more than 75 years over what Dickinsonia and other bizarre fossils of the Ediacaran biota were: giant single-celled amoeba, lichen, failed experiments of evolution or the earliest animals on Earth," said study co-author Jochen Brocks.

"The fossil fat now confirms Dickinsonia as the oldest known animal fossil, solving a decades-old mystery that has been the Holy Grail of palaeontology."

Source: Live Science | Comments (14)

Tags: Dickinsonia

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #5 Posted by Gecks on 21 September, 2018, 19:54
Well played
Comment icon #6 Posted by poohbear on 22 September, 2018, 8:33
  Dick in Sonia No further comment.
Comment icon #7 Posted by seanjo on 22 September, 2018, 17:05
Please grow up.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Seti42 on 22 September, 2018, 18:12
Hey, The Life of Brian mentioned a Roman called Bigus Dickus. Now, if that (albeit controversial) historical documentary can say such a name without eliciting laughter, so can this article. Grow up, people.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Avalanche on 24 September, 2018, 18:48
Dickinsonia souns like some pr0n flick. There was a great am-football player called Dick Buttkus very close to biggusdickus.
Comment icon #10 Posted by mesuma on 23 October, 2018, 22:39
He has a wife you know.
Comment icon #11 Posted by jaylemurph on 24 October, 2018, 3:21
Ediacarian biota are weird ****. Almost exactly like what Lovecraft describes in places. --Jaylemurph
Comment icon #12 Posted by flying squid on 22 January, 2020, 8:58
Looked a little bit through the older threads, and stumbled upon this one. Well, this oldest known animal is perhaps named after Bruce Dickinson, singer of the Iron Maiden? 
Comment icon #13 Posted by 'Walt' E. Kurtz on 22 January, 2020, 9:06
Run to the hills 
Comment icon #14 Posted by flying squid on 22 January, 2020, 10:25
It would not be the first time some animals(living or dead) have been named in the honor of rock musicians.   - Achygnatha zappa (Frank Zappa, spider) - Hyla stingi (Sting, tree frog) - Pseudocorinna brianeno (Brian Eno, Afrotropical spider - Masiakasaurus knopfleri (Mark Knopfler, small dinosaur) - Anomphalus jaggerius (Mick Jagger, fossilized mollusk) - Ummagumma (Species of dragonflies named efter Pink Floyd album) -    


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