Using new analysis and research from earth scientists, the oldest algae fossil is approximately 1 billion years old. This helps scientists estimate the approximate origin of plants, which is around 1.25 billion years ago. This research will help reveal how old the plant Bangiomorpha pubescens fossil really is. This plant is the oldest known direct origin of current plants, though it was incorrectly dated beforehand by scientists as to how old the algae is. This research also reveals that the time period called the “Boring Billion”(approximately 1.8 to 0.8 billion years ago) is a little more interesting than its given name. Currently extinct archaea and bacteria existed then, however, setting up for the Cambrian Explosion- the creation for more complex life forms. In contrast to earlier research, the Earth’s environment and biosphere is active during the “Boring Billion” time period. Scientists at McGill University pinpoint the age of the fossil at Baffin Island, where the algae Bangiomorpha pubescens fossil is located. Scientists collected black shale, where fossils of algae were found in between the layers in the black shale. The scientists then use the Rhenium-Osmium(aka Re-Os), dating the fossil about 1.047 billion years old. This helps make more accurate evaluations of early eukaryotes. Scientists have also determined that because ancient algae used sunlight to create nutrients from carbon dioxide and water, chloroplast must have long existed during the time of early eukaryotes. Early eukaryotes must have consumed a bacterium with photosynthetic properties, and was able to pass its DNA to its descendants- the plants that exist today. Scientists thus use the data(age of Bangiomorpha pubescens)to determine the origins of chloroplast using a “molecular clock”. This so called “molecular clock” is used to calculate evolutions by genetic mutations. The results revealed that chloroplast was integrated into eukaryotes 1.25 billion years ago. The scientists in the McGill University research team believe that this study will drive other scientists to plug their data into their own “molecular clock” and double check the results, along with creating a more efficient way to calculate the time period of the origin of chloroplast.


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