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After a recent discovery of a new fossilized creature, Chinese scientists are saying they have discovered the oldest recorded animal. The fossils suggest that these creatures lived about 600 million years ago and resembled the modern-day comb jellies.
Dr. Zhenbing She of the China University of Geosciences, Wuhan, led the team that discovered the fossils of the creature. Dr. She announced his team’s discovery at a meeting of the Geological Society of London in January 2019, according to Big Think. However, they still have yet to decide on a name for the creature.
The fossils were found in a drill core taken from the Doushantuo Formation in southern China. They measure about 0.7 millimeters, which makes them visible to the naked eye.
Before the unnamed creature’s fossils were discovered, scientists believed the Dickinsonia—discovered in 2018—was the oldest known animal. The Dickinsonia was believed to have lived 558 million years ago, just 40 million years after this new, unnamed creature.
The Dickinsonia belong to a group of organisms, called the Ediacaran. While according to the New Scientist, the Dickinsonia went extinct about 541 million years ago, this newly discovered animal seems to still have comb jellies as living relatives.
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