Skip to main content

Fossil Find

This is a fossil of one of Earth’s earliest animals. DEAGOSTINI PICTURE LIBRARY/GETTY IMAGES

Scientists have made a discovery about a 500 million–year-old fossil. A new study shows it was formed by an animal. It was one of the earliest creatures on Earth.

The first fossil of this kind was described in 1947. The creature that formed it was nicknamed Dickinsonia. Its fossils were found in Australia and Russia. But scientists never knew if it was made by a plant or an animal.

Research has now proven that Dickinsonia was an animal. Jochen Brocks was part of the team that studied the fossil. He told the AP that scientists still have a lot to learn about Dickinsonia. “We do know it was soft and flexible,” Brocks said. “Maybe like a slug, but less watery than a jellyfish.”