The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Friday, October 31, 2014


According to scientist from the University of Oregon, fossil find challenges tree of life as we know it
Dickinsonia. Photo: Greg Retallack.
PARIS (AFP).- Organisms long thought to have been the ancestors of early marine creatures may in fact have lived on land, said a fossil study Wednesday that may prompt an overhaul of the tree of animal life.

If correct, the finding could challenge the commonly held theory that life had thrived in the oceans for hundreds of millions of years before spreading to land.

The fossils, dubbed Ediacaran and dated to 542-635 million years ago, were unearthed in south Australia in 1946, and were long thought to have been the remains of jellyfish, worms and flowery seafloor-dwelling creatures known as sea pens.

Now a geological scientist from the University of Oregon, using state-of-the-art chemical and microscopic analysis techniques, has concluded the fossils more likely belonged to land-dwelling organisms and were not animals at all.

They may have been lichen -- a composite of a fungus and an algae or bacteria -- or colonies of micro-organisms.

"The discovery has implications for the tree of life because it removes Ediacaran fossils from the ancestry of animals," said Gregory Retallack, author of the study published in the journal Nature.

The fossils represent "an independent evolutionary radiation of life on land that preceded by at least 20 million years the Cambrian evolutionary explosion of animals in the sea," he wrote.

Retallack added this did not mean that all Ediacaran fossils everywhere were terrestrial.

If his theory is correct, it would indicate that some organisms mastered the transition from marine to non-marine life much earlier than currently thought, Paul Knauth of Arizona State University's School of Earth and Space Exploration wrote in a comment on the report.

It may even "support the possibility that the transition went the other way".

In a separate comment, Shuhai Xiao of the Virginia Tech department of geosciences called the proposition dubious, and stressed it "would represent a fundamental change in our picture of evolution".

"The evidence is unconvincing," Xiao wrote.

mlr/jhb


© 1994-2012 Agence France-Presse

Ediacaran Fossils | University of Oregon | Gregory Retallack |




Today's News

December 14, 2012

Mexican archaeologists discover 1,000 year old cemetery in the State of Sonora

According to scientist from the University of Oregon, fossil find challenges tree of life as we know it

Sotheby's names President and CEO William F. Ruprecht as Chairman of the Board of Directors

Man jailed for two years for defacing Rothko work in London's Tate Modern gallery

Florida won't restore rights to famed American Museum of Natural History jewel thief

Terra Foundation CEO Elizabeth Glassman awarded French Medal of Honor

80-year-old Spanish botched fresco artist sells work on eBay for charity organization

Saffronart announces its Modern Indian Art Winter Online Auction 2012 taking place on 18-19 December

Henrietta Leon Girshman's Carnet de Salon leads Bonhams Russian Literature Auction

Tate announces groundbreaking £5 million arts award for under 25s funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation

Indianapolis Museum of Art commissions Spencer Finch for Efroymson Family Entrance Pavilion

Spectacular British, Islamic collections headline Heritage Auctions event in New York

Beatles rock Bonhams Entertainment Memorabilia Sale; Exceptional prices achieved for Beatles items

New series of works on paper, videos and a mobile sculpture by Roger Andersson at Poppy Sebire

Hermes rules at largest luxury accessories auction ever: $3.2 Million

New, purpose-built Vancouver Art Gallery will benefit entire visual arts community

Shaun Odell exhibits at Jack Hanley Gallery in New York

Sweden's ice hotel, a work of art for the here-and-now

Vatican austerity means donated nativity scene

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Image of a Christ without a beard, short hair and wearing a toga unearthed in Spain

2.- Giant mosaic unearthed in mysterious tomb in Amphipolis in northern Macedonia

3.- Bonhams sale of 18th century French decorative arts to benefit Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

4.- Paris flustered by erection of 'sex-toy' sculpture; Paul McCarthy slapped by a passer-by

5.- High art or vile pornography? Marquis de Sade explored in Orsay museum exhibition

6.- 'Cubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection' opens at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

7.- Greek culture minister says Elgin Marbles return a matter of 'global heritage'

8.- Vandals deflate Paris 'sex-toy' sculpture by American artist Paul McCarthy after outrage

9.- Exhibition at National Gallery in London explores Rembrandt's final years of painting

10.- 'Hans Memling: A Flemish Renaissance' opens at the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site