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Embryos tell story of Earth's earliest animals

0 with his book Wonderful Life.

In 1998, Shuhai Xiao and Yun Zhang of Beijing University and Harvard's Andrew Knoll reported in the journal Nature a stunning collection of 570-million-year-old fossils interpreted as algae and animals. Many scientists doubted the Nature report, citing a lack of evidence that something as soft as an embryo could survive long enough for fossilization to occur.

"It appears these formations in China had the conditions that would have preserved animal embryos," Raff said. "Hopefully, the question about whether this can happen can be put to rest."

What distinguishes animals from other organisms is the ability to ingest other organisms, either by consuming them as food, as humans do, or by digesting food externally and sucking up the aftermath, in the manner of starfish.


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Source:Indiana University


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