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Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 9:41 EDT

The Evolution of the World’s Oldest Fossil Communities

January 27, 2014

In this study by Ghisalberti et al., an international team of scientists reconstructed one of the oldest fossil beds containing communities of large life forms. The organisms in these rocks (collectively known as rangeomorphs) lived on the sea floor and directly absorbed nutrition from the ocean water. This study, published in the February 3, 2014 issue of Current Biology, demonstrates that by sticking up into the water column, rangeomorphs could gain an advantage over bacteria in the competition for ocean nutrients. This gave rangeomorphs an impetus to grow tall and helped drive the evolution of the first large, multicellular life forms on earth.

Credit: UCLA

[ Read the Article: Bigger Really Was Better For Early Prehistoric Life ]