July 23, 2024

Taylor Daily Press

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Perhaps the world’s first predatory animal was discovered

Perhaps the world’s first predatory animal was discovered

For a long time we’ve been missing a piece of the evolutionary puzzle of the evolution of multicellular organisms a billion years ago. An international research team may have found this in a fossil containing prehistoric lipid particles.

Researchers from the Australian National University and Germany’s University of Bremen have now found extinct eukaryotes that may have been the first predators. They record it the magazine nature.

first predators

The microscopic creatures, called Protosterol Biota, were found in Barney Creek in Australia.

Sedimentary rocks, which formed on the sea floor in prehistoric times, date back to 1.6 billion years ago.

By looking specifically for sterols in the rock, the researchers discovered the new molecules.

Sterols are a type of waxy lipid that is found naturally in plants and animals. Sterols such as cholesterol help keep cell membranes stable.

Researchers looked for sterols because almost all eukaryotes produce them.

They found a number of molecules with elementary – or original – chemical structures they had not seen before.

Fossils are the molecular remains of these organisms and unfortunately do not tell us anything about the emergence of these eukaryotes.

The researchers hope that laser-in-rock experiments will provide more insight into this. However, they believe that eukaryotes were larger than bacteria, and that they fed on them.

Artist made in collaboration with researchers and with the help of artificial intelligence series of illustrations What Protosterol Biota Organisms Might Look Like.

For years, the prevailing view was that the primeval seas 1.5 billion years ago were dominated by bacteria, and that eukaryotes were rare. But these new findings show that they were an important part of marine life.

Researchers suspect that the Protosterol Biota began to die out 800 million years ago, when algae and fungi appeared.

In addition, we thought that more complex life forms could be traced back to a common eukaryotic ancestor 1.2 billion years ago.

But the new discovery shows that it may have been several million years older.

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