Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Dickensonia: the Oldest Animal

Dickensonia has been identified as the oldest animal in the fossil record. 

In case you want to know what alien life may look like, examine the earliest part of Earth's fossil record.  The frobbing throws out a lot of the same shapes when evolution scribbles madly to find out what survives best in this particular environment.  It basically looks like the gods got wasted on really good shrooms and threw paint on canvas for a few million years.  It evens out later.  But that free-for-all is surprisingly consistent.  Most of what exists anywhere at the early stages will be represented in most early-stage samples.  Many planets have life, but a lot of them never get very complex because of harsh conditions.  You need pretty good odds to get a full-scale biosphere, and it's easy to knock back with a disaster, although also excellent at recovering.  Usually what you see when you go exploring are cute little inkblots like this.  So look at them, in order to be able to recognize them elsewhere.  That there was an animal, not a plant or something else.
Tags: history, nature, news, science, space exploration, wildlife
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