The discovery in Gabon of more than 250 fossils in an excellent state of conservation has provided proof, for the first time, of the existence of multicellular organisms 2.1 billion years ago. This finding represents a major breakthrough: until now, the first complex life forms (made up of several cells) dated from around 600 million years ago. These new fossils, of various shapes and sizes, imply that the origin of organized life is a lot older than is generally admitted, thus challenging current knowledge on the beginning of life. These specimens were discovered and studied by an international multidisciplinary team of researchers coordinated by Abderrazak El Albani of the Laboratoire IC2MP (CNRS/Université de Poitiers). Their work, due to be published in Nature on 1st July, will feature on the cover of the journal.
- CNRS press releases June 30, 2010
- Earlier start to multicellular life? The scientific June 30, 2010
- The Australian July 01,2010 – Fossils found in Gabon rewrite timeline of life on Earth
- Encyclopedia Britannica
- National Geographic July 20, 2010- 2.1 billion year old fossils
- BBC News July 01, 2010
- NBC News July 01, 2010
- El Albani A, Bengtson S., Canfield D.E, Riboulleau A, Rollion-Bard C, et al. (2014) The 2.1 Ga Old Francevillian Biota : Biogenicity, Taphonomy and Biodiversity. PLOS ONE 9(6) 1-18 : doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0099438.
- Canfield D. E., Ngombi Pemba, L., Hammarlund, E., Bengtson S., Chaussidon M., François Gauthier-Lafaye F., Meunier A., Riboulleau A., Rollion Bard C., Rouxel O., Asael D., Pierson-Wickmann A-C & El Albani A.* (2013). Oxygen dynamics in the aftermath of the Great Oxidation of the Earth’s atmosphere. Proceeding of National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), 110, 16736-16741.
- El Albani A., Bengtson S., Canfield D.E., Bekker A., Macchiarelli R., Mazurier A., Hammarlund E., Boulvais P., Dupuis J.-J., Fontaine C., Fürsich F.T., Gauthier-Lafaye F., Janvier P., Javaux E., Ossa Ossa F., Pierson-Wickmann A.-C., Riboulleau A., Sardini P., Vachard D., Whitehouse M. & Meunier A. (2010) Large colonial organisms with coordinated growth in oxygenated environments 2.1 billion years ago. Nature 466, 100-104
- En savoir plus sur les travaux de recherche du Pr A. El Albani.