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Traces of Earth's Oldest Animals Possibly Found
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The long-buried answer to that question lies not in fossilized shells or bones, but in the preserved chemicals from animals' bodies that have been found in ancient rocks. Ancient chemical traces, known as biomarkers, have revealed that sponges existed at least 635 million years ago and perhaps as far back as 660 million years ago, making them the oldest known form of animal life, a new study finds. That same sponge lineage — a group known as demosponges — is still around today. read more


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