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Biogeochemistry

Early animals out in the cold

The enduring controversy about the appearance of animals in the evolutionary record takes a fresh twist with an analysis of molecular fossils that places the rise of the sponge lineage before 635 million years ago.

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Figure 1: Early animal evolution and the 24-isopropylcholestane (24-ipc) biomarker.
Figure 2: Biosynthesis of the 24-ipc precursor in different evolutionary schemes.

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Brocks, J., Butterfield, N. Early animals out in the cold. Nature 457, 672–673 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1038/457672a

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