A new discovery managed to spark a controversy in the scientific community. 520-million-year-old fossilized structures were discovered, but experts can’t agree when it comes to explaining what they are.
There are many theories so far, and there was even one that believed that those mysterious blobs were, in fact, a silhouette of the creatures that were discovered. A new study analyzed the Cambrian period structures and they reached another conclusion. According to them, those blobs are in fact fossilized bacterial mats.
Some scientists disagree
However, it appears that the results of the study are not universally accepted by everyone. The researchers that first discovered the blobs continue to believe that they are brains. There are other palaeontologists out there that agree with them.
The creature that was discovered is named Fuxianhuia protensa and it is an arthropod from the early days. The size of the critter is around 3 inches 7.6 centimetres) and it is believed that it lived during the Cambrian era, around 542 million to 488 million areas ago, in the region which is now southern China.
It is not unusual for scientists to discover F. protensa fossils, and numerous others were discovered before, but there were only 10 that appeared to have the outline of their brains showing. The first time these features were reported was back in 2012, in a study written by Nicholas Strausfeld, and his colleagues. Another study appeared in 2015.
However, the newest study does not agree with this conclusion, especially since the blobs did not have a uniform shape. Therefore, experts began to “”question whether the ‘brains’ in the original studies were really being interpreted correctly,” according to Jianni Liu, a professor at the Early Life Institute in the Department of Geology at Northwest University, in Xi’an, China and the lead researcher of the new study.
Patrick Supernaw is the lead editor for Great Lakes Ledger. Patrick has written for many publications including The Huffington Post and Vanity Fair. Patrick is based in Ottawa and covers issues affecting his city. In addition to his severe hockey addiction, Pat also enjoys kayaking and can often be found paddling the Rideau Canal. Contact Pat here