Thursday, December 22, 2011

Ediacaran fossils

The authors have essentially performed a CAT scan of these tiny fossils, except they use energies high enough to fry human tissues. This is sufficient to reveal subtle internal features, including what appears to be a nucleus inside many of the cells, as shown above. The authors argue that this isn't not just a matter of similar appearance. The object has a consistent location within the cells, takes up a consistent fraction of the cell's volume, and only appears once per cell, all of which are features of a nucleus.
Source and full story:

Mass Extinctions have long been an area of interest to me, so I find this deeply interesting.  As much for the advances of Technology in Paleontology/Paleobiology, as for the actual fossils being discussed.

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