Ancient Plants Discovered In Central India; Could Be The Oldest Specimen On Earth

By Carrie Winters - 15 Mar '17 08:50AM

Scientists recently discovered some fossils that may be from the oldest plants on Earth. These were found in sedimentary rocks that were in central India.

According to a report, these specimens were about 1.6 billion years old. It is also indicated that these plant-like fossils seem to have the structures found in red algae. There were two types of specimens of these fossils that scientists found.

These two types contained a different type of structures in them. One of these specimens was composed of filaments and the other one had a more robust structure in it. It is indicated that the researchers discovered these fossils preserved in rocks.

The plant-like fossils were also discovered in a region that was a shallow sea before. The fossils discovered are of early eukaryotes and are said to be rare. The new discovery has been unique especially for the researchers.

A report indicated that these plant-like fossils discovered in central India are the oldest plant-like fossil so far. With the discovery, Stefan Bengston, Professor emeritus of palaeozoology at the Swedish Museum of Natura History shared that the time when life was prominent on Earth had been earlier than thought of for several years.

Bengston also noted that one can't be so sure especially with the material this old because there is no DNA that has remained. However, the characteristics of the plant-like fossils found are similar with those of the red algae.

The research group that discovered the plant-like fossil used a synchrotron-based X-ray tomographic microscopy to be able to look inside the algae. This method helped the researchers to view the insides of the plant-like fossil. They also were able to determine regularly recurring platelet in the specimen.

Meanwhile, the claims for ancient life are always controversial. However, this latest discovery may mean that plants may have been on Earth for a long time.

Fun Stuff

Join the Conversation

The Next Read

Real Time Analytics