Newly Found Fossils Could Be Among Earth’s Earliest (Video)

October 1, 2014 Updated: September 1, 2015

A mysterious find in southern China could be the remains of earth’s earliest animals.

These spherical fossils date back 600 million years and are believed by Virginia scientists to be the embryos of ancient unidentified creatures, says a new study published in the journal nature.

Called Mega-Sphaera, they came out of a rock layer found in China called the Doushantuo formation. Previous fossils that were unearthed in the area weren’t found to be from any known adult animals, so they were interpreted as single-celled organisms.

Study researcher, Shuhai Xiao of Virginia Tech, determined this new find to have patterns that are normally found in more complex cells of animals and plants. This find could eventually help scientists understand how single-celled organisms transitioned into multi-cellular animals.