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"Most recognizable eukaryotes don't show up until around 800 million years ago." The reason it was so hard to tell how old Bangiomorpha was is that to measure the age of rocks, geologists typically rely on chemical techniques that can only be applied to layers of volcanic rock, Gibson said, and there wasn't much of that in the cliffs where the fossils were found.So Gibson and his supervisor, Galen Halverson, decided to use a relatively new technique called Rhenium-Osmium dating that works well in rocks containing a lot of organic carbon, like the shale that the fossils were sandwiched between in cliffs on Baffin Island where they had also been found.Orchestra La Tipica Hispana treated fans to Latin rhythms during the Family Day weekend.
But the fact that it's more than a billion years old means that it's still by far the oldest recognizable multicellular complex organism.Molecular clock estimates of events in early evolution often have extremely large error bars — sometimes spanning hundreds of millions of years — partly because the fossil record from that time is so incomplete, he added.They'll only improve when more very ancient fossils are found.And being on the younger end of the range would have put its age as being similar to other fossils of recognizable complex organisms, making it nothing unusual.
Now researchers from Mc Gill University, using a relatively new radiochemical dating technique, have estimated that the fossils are between 1.03 billion and 1.06 billion years old.
Working up there was a "dream come true" for Gibson: "It's a magical place I've wanted to go for a long time." For four summers, he and a small team helicoptered in to sites between Pond Inlet and Arctic Bay.