Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

Life survived Snowball Earth

Fossils have been found, appearing as very small circles a bit less than 1 mm in diameter, in rocks of the Trezona Formation, north of Trezona Bore, in the west central portion of the Flinders Ranges, South Australia, dating to about 650 to 640 million years ago. When the fossils were modelled in 3D it was realized by the scientists, led by Adam Maloof, of Princeton University, New Jersey, that they were sea sponges that had apparently survived the glaciation.

In their paper submitted to Nature Geoscience, see below, they describe the results of the 3D modelling as non-symmetric ellipsoidal organisms with an internal network of canals leading to circular surface apertures. They conclude that the best explanation of the structures, believed to be reef-dwelling animals, is as sponge-grade metazoans.

Sources & Further reading

  1. Meg Marquardt, Nov 2010, Earth Magazine, p. 25


Possible animal body fossils from pre-Marinoan limestones from South Australia.


Last updated 16/10/2010 


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