2 billion year old fossils


From [Science Daily](http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100630171711.htm):

> While studying the paleo-environment of a fossil-bearing site situated near Franceville in Gabon in 2008, El Albani and his team unexpectedly discovered perfectly preserved fossil remains in the 2.1 billion-year-old sediments. They have collected more than 250 fossils to date, of which one hundred or so have been studied in detail. Their morphology cannot be explained by purely chemical or physical mechanisms. These specimens, which have various shapes and can reach 10 to 12 centimeters, are too big and too complex to be single-celled prokaryotes or eukaryotes. This establishes that different life forms co-existed at the start of the Proterozoic, as the specimens are well and truly fossilized living material.

Holy. Crap.

2 billion year old fossils

Photo Copyright CNRS Photo Library / A. El Albani & A. Mazurier

2 *billion* year old fossils. The Burgess Shale deposit of Cambrian fossils is ~600 million years old. These newly discovered fossils are over 3 times as old. LOTS of new fodder for finding various evolutionary lines from single celled life to the critters found in Burgess. Awesome.