Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Newly discovered billion-year-old seaweed rewrites Earth’s history

Paleontologists discovered a billion-year-old seaweed fossil that is way older than the land-based plants that have changed the history of the earth. It was discovered in the rocks near the city of Dailan in North China, which may be the oldest of green plants ever found until now. This tiny seaweed is the part of the primeval revolution of the life form in the earth. Proterocladus antiquus, which is about the size of the grain, is the ancient seaweed that was discovered, and it was published in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution. The size of the seaweed may be small, but it was one of the largest organisms earlier.

It featured numerous thin branches thriving in swallow water with a root-like structure on the sea surface. These microfossils surprisingly reveal that they resemble a group of modern green seaweeds known as “siphonocladaleans.” After their death under the layers of rock and as the land is dry the scientists were able to easily dig in and research about it. Due to its “cooked” samples under the rock, the researchers were able to obtain well-preserved samples of the fossils.

“Proterocladus antiquus is a close relative of the ancestor of all green plants alive today,” said Qing Tang, a Virginia Tech post-doctoral researcher in paleobiology. The researchers thought that the first land plants are the descendants of the green sea woods that dated 450 million years ago. He also stated that many scientists don’t agree that the modern-day greenery was evolved from the marine. But this new discovery might provide enough evidence to prove that the plants evolved from the marine region is true.

Source: Inverse

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