Laurentian professor discovers what may be the oldest fossil record of animal life

August 6, 2021
Laurentian University professor Dr Elizabeth Turner’s new discovery, recently published in Nature, has caused a stir in the scientific community, reports CTV News. Turner found a specimen while doing research on microbial rocks in the Northwest Territories that did not fit the pattern of her research, and set it aside for research at a later time. After further research, Turner found that the fossils were 890 million years old, which may be the oldest fossil record of animal life. Turner subsequently published “Possible poriferan body fossils in early Neoproterozoic microbial reefs,” an article that uses the find as proof that life on earth could have existed 350 million years earlier than it was previously believed to exist. “My purpose here was to present this novel kind of information, and give what I think to be the most parsimonious explanation, logical interpretation that is minimalist, and then just put it out there for the scientific community to evaluate,” said Turner. CTV News | Sudbury.com | Chicago Sun Times | Nature (ON)