Planet Earth — The Year One Billion: Primitive Relatives of All Animals, Plants and Fungi Left the Oceans and Moved into Ancient Lakes Twice as Long Ago as Thought.

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It is generally assumed that life began in the ocean around 3.8 billion years ago, then moved onto land. Until now, there had been little evidence to suggest this landward migration happened before half a billion years ago. Scientists have discovered one-billion-year-old lake sediment packed full of fossilised eukaryotic cells — an organism whose cells contain complex structures enclosed within membranes that contains a nucleus, or nuclear envelope, within which is housed the genetic material.


This discovery suggests that the primitive relatives of all animals, plants and fungi had left the oceans and moved into terrestrial waters twice as long ago as thought.

Paul Strother at Boston College in Weston, Massachusetts, and colleagues discovered cyst-like bubbles made of organic matter in the 1 to 1.2-billion-year-old lake deposits across the north-west of Scotland that show a level of structural complexity characteristic of eukaryotes –- one of the three domains of life:  Bacteria, Archaea, and Eucarya.

The Daily Galaxy via Journal Nature and newscientist.com

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