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An unprecedented fossil in the world was found in the state of Minas Gerais

An unprecedented fossil in the world was found in the state of Minas Gerais

A fossil from the Precambrian era, between the formation of the Earth (about 4.6 billion years ago) and about 542 million years ago, was found in the state of Minas Gerais. This is the first example of its kind to be identified in the world and may help understand the evolution of life on our planet.

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Goscia januarensis (Photo: Publicity/Mattheus Denizen)

The importance of the discovery for evolutionary studies

The fossil is a cyanobacteria that is only 10 micrometers (or 10 millionths of a metre) in size and can only be viewed using electron microscopes. It is found in the municipality of Januaria (MG) and is named Ghoshia januarensis.

This species was described for the first time in the world, and is a cyanobacteria that was here more than 540 million years ago, in the Precambrian era, before the existence of dinosaurs or animals with skeletons. This is a discovery that places Brazil within the scope of studies on the evolution of life.

Matthews Denzin, a geologist and researcher at the University of Brasilia (UnB), is the first author of the article

Such discoveries confirm the validity of Charles Darwin's theory that life on Earth is much older than suggested by the scientific literature of the 19th century.

In all, seven fossils were found in the Sete Lagoas Formation, which lies within the São Francisco Basin, a geological region covering Minas Gerais, Goiás, Distrito Federal, and Bahia. Ghoshia januarensis lived in a marine environment and was identified in the limestone of the formation.

The discovery also confirms that the area where Minas Gerais is located today was at sea more than 540 million years ago. Over time, the rocks of the basin emerged and solid ground appeared. Information is from the world.

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A person holds oil in his hands over the pond
The discovery also indicates the possibility of oil in the area (Image: Kirill Gorshkov/Shutterstock)

Possibility of oil presence in the MG area

  • In addition to being an unprecedented fossil in the world, this discovery raises the possibility of the presence of oil in the São Francisco Sedimentary Basin.
  • Petroleum formation is a long and complex process that begins from the initial point of accumulation of organic materials in layers of sediments that intertwine on the bottom of seas, lakes and rivers.
  • Over time, through physical and chemical processes, the material in the source rock reaches the ideal high temperature for generating oil and gas.
  • This oil then rises into porous rock until it is stored in so-called oil reservoirs.
  • The researchers discovered the starting point for this process: the presence of organic matter capable of reaching a temperature sufficient to generate oil.
  • Now, scientists want to know if there really is oil there.