Multicellular life at 2.1 GA – big news or not?

Multicellular life pushed back to (at least) 2.1 GA according to Nature magazine. Big news in the paleo community some would say. Too bad that this article is such epic crap in describing the discovery.

“Up to now, conventional scientific wisdom held that the planet was populated only by single-celled microbes until the so-called Cambrian explosion, a major surge of biodiversity that began some 600 million years ago.”

Say what? The Cambrian explosion is firstly dated to 542+-1 MA years. Not “600”. Thats the Ediacaran biota you are talking about probably. Secondly it does not mark the start of multicellular life – it marks the major start of the biotas living today – in some aspects at least, since GOBE does that better of course.

“The cursor on the origin of complex multicellular life is no longer 600 million years ago, as has long been maintained, but more like 2.1 billion years,” said Abderrazak El Albani, a researcher at the University of Poitiers and lead author of the study.”

The “cursor” might have been set at 600 MA by some, but there are several known examples of multicellular life thats older than this. Like Horodyskia at 1.5 GA. And some claim that there are 2.1 GA old multicellular Grypania spiralis in some Banded Iron Formations. So basically its only confirmation of older news – nothing that ground breaking.

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