In The Field

Burgess Shale Centenary: What’s this, then?

If you can’t tell the difference between an embryo and a giant bacterium, then things have got to be pretty bad. But Frank Corsetti of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, gave the audience a persuasive argument today that at least some spherical bodies found in the fossil record, thought to be eggs or embryos, are indeed probably giant sulphur bacteria instead. Certainly I can’t tell the difference from the pictures, and nor, apparently, can the experts. 


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