The Deep Sea Marble

Tribute to a protist

The term «deep sea marble» is our term of endearment for Gromia sphaerica, a huge protozoa that wanders about the deep sea floor by means of pseudopods (i.e. false feet). This is what puzzles scientists today, since single-celled organisms aren't supposed to move and leave trails. Moreover—and much to the paleontologists' dispair—its trails are a spitting image of trace fossils found dating 580 million years back. Paleontologists always figured they must have been made by multicellular animals with complex bodies. But if protozoans can leave trails, this discovery no less than upends early evolution and may re-write the history of the beginning of complex life. Genetic analysis additionally revealed clues that Gromia sphaerica may be the oldest living fossil on the planet.

A postcard was pasted yesterday. The conversation was stimulating throughout. — The Deep Sea Marble

Current owner

Antje Haack
Hamburg, Germany

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