In a groundbreaking discovery, scientists have unearthed a "lost world" of ancient creature
that once thrived in Earth's oceans, preserved within a billion-year-old rock in Australia.
This remarkable finding, detailed in the
, offers unprecedented insights into the
evolution of life on our planet and challenges previous assumptions.
Led by Jochen Brocks from the Australian National University, the research team
examined fossil fat molecules, known as sterols, embedded in the rock.
These sterols are produced by living cells and can endure for billions of years in geological formations.
To their astonishment, the scientists identified sterols in the
Australian rock that differed from any previously discovered.
These ancient sterols were significantly simpler than those produced by modern organisms,
hinting at the existence of creatures vastly distinct from any known today.