PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Candidate cryogenian cnidarian fossil impressions from the Ranford formation of Australia, of a form reminiscent of the modern Porpita porpita (blue button colonial hydroids). The structure has also been claimed to be some artefact of mineralization (possibly selenite) "sun" crystalisation in the rock, and they remain controversial. If they prove to be fossils from the "Snowball Earth" phase of history, (850-635 MYBP) then they predate the ediacaran fauna and are amongst the earliest complex fossils known. Their small, relatively uniform size (less than one inch) has been taken for evidence of an organic fossil origin.
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