First sign of animal life on Earth may be a sponge fossil

By CHRISTINA LARSON AP Science Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — A geologist has discovered rocks in Canada that may contain sponge fossils dating back 890 million years — potentially making them the earliest fossil record of animal life on Earth.

Elizabeth Turner's research describing the three-dimensional structures was published Wednesday in the journal Nature.

But there's little scientific certainty about anything dating back a billion years ago, so other scientists will likely continue to vet and debate the published findings.

Four outside scientists told the Associated Press the research made a very credible case that the oldest animal fossils were found.

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