News of the WeekPaleontology

Earliest Animals Old Once More?

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Science  06 Nov 1998:
Vol. 282, Issue 5391, pp. 1020
DOI: 10.1126/science.282.5391.1020a

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TORONTO-- In the past month, the apparent age of the first known animals nearly doubled to a startling 1.1 billion years (Science, 2 October, pp. 19 and 80), then swung back to the conventional figure of 600 million years (Science, 23 October, pp. 601 and 627). And last week at the annual meeting here of the Geological Society of America, the pendulum swung one more time, back toward the extraordinarily early dates claimed a month ago. Paleontologists may have to reckon after all with signs of animals 500 million years earlier than the first known animal fossils.