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The findings have been published in the journal fossils in the entire world.
But even if the rock is younger than that, it would still make their finding the oldest record of life on Earth, by 100 million years. "We now have evidence in rock that I can hold in my hand that we had life already established extremely early on the Earth." Discoveries such as this one greatly help scientists better understand the early Earth.
The age of the carbon in the rock is different from that of the carbon in the air and makes carbon dating data for those organisms inaccurate under the assumptions normally used for carbon dating.
This restriction extends to animals that consume seafood in their diet.
Although many agreed with an estimate of 3 million years, scientists were keen to attempt to place a more accurate date on the skeleton using a technique called isochron burial dating.
This method involves measuring the ratios of different forms, or isotopes, of the elements aluminum and beryllium in the rocks surrounding the fossil.