Princeton University geoscientists Adam Maloof & Catherine Rose identified fossils of soft-bodied animals from approximately 577 million years ago to 542 million years ago.
Or at least they think the fossils are from animals - that's only their "best guess."
The fossils were found in Australia and the results suggest that primitive sponge-like creatures lived in ocean reefs all those years ago.
The research suggests that the organisms were about the size of a small fingertip and had weirdly shaped bodies with a huge network of internal canals.
Here's what a scientist said:
"We were accustomed to finding rocks with embedded mud chips, and at first this is what we thought we were seeing. But then we noticed these repeated shapes that we were finding everywhere – wishbones, rings, perforated slabs and anvils. We realized we had stumbled upon some sort of organism, and we decided to analyze the fossils. No one was expecting that we would find animals that lived before the ice age, and since animals probably did not evolve twice, we are suddenly confronted with the question of how a relative of these reef-dwelling animals survived the 'snowball Earth.'"
The 'Snowball Earth' is the theory that the entire globe was frozen solid at one point before 650 million years ago.
Images recreated from their finding have led scientists to believe these fossil remains belonged to a spongelike creature. Previously, the oldest known and undisputed fossilized sponges date to around 520 million years old.
History is being made, people.
But are we sure those (above) are fossils? They look like pizza to us - ha!
[Image via Maloof Lab/Situ Studio.]
Tags: animal, australia, dinosaurs, discovered, fossils, life, limestone, old, rock, seven million years