The recent discovery of 2.1 billion year old multicellular fossils changes theories of early life.
The discovery in Gabon of more than 250 fossils in an excellent state of conservation has provided proof, for the first time, of the existence of multicellular organisms 2.1 billion years ago.
These new fossils, of various shapes and sizes, imply that the origin of organized life is a lot older than is generally admitted, thus challenging current knowledge on the beginning of life.
The first traces of life appeared in the form of prokaryotic organisms, in other words organisms without a nucleus, around three and a half billion years ago.
Scientists have very little information about the era between 3.5 billion years ago and 600 million years ago, known as the Proterozoic. Yet, it is during this crucial period that life diversified: to the prokaryotes were added the eukaryotes, single or multicelled organisms endowed with a more complex organization and metabolism.