#fossils #oldestplants #initiallife #India #RedAlgae
Fossils looking similar to red algae were recently unearthed in India in phosphate-rich sedimentary rocks from Chitrakoot. The fossils are believed to be 1.6 billion years old, which contradicts the presently known fact that oldest-known plants were 1.2 billion year old red algae from Canadian Arctic.
The researchers said cellular structures preserved in the fossils and their overall shape match red algae, a primitive kind of plant that today thrives in marine settings such as coral reefs but also can be found in freshwater environments. A type of red algae known as nori is a common sushi ingredient.
It is scientifically believed that Earth was formed about 4.5 billion years ago, and first indications of life appeared in the form of marine bacteria around 3.7 to 4.2 billion years ago. Plants and animals appeared much later in the picture.
This fossil also represents the oldest-known advanced multi-cellular organism in the broad category called eukaryotes. This includes plants, fungi and animals.