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Fossil of world’s oldest animal discovered in India

  • Published at 05:25 pm February 10th, 2021
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Researchers believe they have found the first-ever fossil in India of a Dickinsonia

In Madhya Pradesh, researchers believe that they have unearthed India’s first fossil of "Dickinsonia," which is considered to be Earth’s oldest animal that roamed the planet 570 million years ago.

The rare remnants have been discovered at the Bhimbetka rock shelters on the roof of the “Auditorium Cave,” about 40 kilometres away from the city of Bhopal, reports The Times of India. It is reportedly one of the rarest fossils in the world.

The fossils were found by two experts belonging to the Geological Survey of India (GSI) whilst they were on a sightseeing tour for the 36th International Geological Congress.

"Dickinsonia" is deemed to be one of the integral links between the early, simple organisms and then the explosion of life in the Cambrian Period that was around 541 million years ago. The experts found the imprints of the animal that is believed to be 17 inches long.

The findings were published in a report in the February edition of the international journal Gondwana Research.

The paper, named "Dickinsonia" Discovered in India and Late Ediacaran Biogeorgraphy’ reads, “The fossils were found in the roof of Auditorium Cave at Bhimbetka Rock Shelters, a Unesco World Heritage Site for Paleolithic and Mesolithic cave art, near Bhopal. They are identical with "Dickinsonia" tenuis from the Ediacara member of the Rawnsley Quartzite in South Australia.”