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It was described by British scientist Nick Butterfield in 1990.He named it: The fossil was extraordinary because it was found in a rock formation up to 1.2 billion years old and appeared to be the oldest multicellular organism that was a recognizable eukaryote — the group of complex organisms that include plants, animals and fungi — rather than a colony of microbes living together.

Molecular clock estimates of events in early evolution often have extremely large error bars — sometimes spanning hundreds of millions of years — partly because the fossil record from that time is so incomplete, he added.The image on the left is the thallus or body of the algae. The bottom one contains some asexual spores, but sexual spores have also been found.(Nick Butterfield/University of Cambridge) "It confirms that this fossil is really special," said Gibson, an earth sciences Ph D student at Mc Gill.They'll only improve when more very ancient fossils are found.A few years ago, Roger notes that he and some colleagues did their own molecular clock analysis that suggested plants emerged earlier than Gibson and his colleagues calculated.

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