Pre Glaciation

Tiny fossils of the oldest animal known ever were found in Benderloch -coral like life forms that have been found to be 650 million years old !

Is the oldest animal Scottish Edinburgh Geology Society journal April 2011 pg 17 - and from Ardchattan ?
Dr Martin Litherland, from Loughborough, dug up coral-like specimens close to Beregonium in 1967 and initially believed them to be common finds dating back to the Cambrian period about 520 million years ago. However, recent work to find the age of the rocks has now suggested they are around 650 million years old, which predate the previous oldest known so far the 560 million-year-old Charnia fossil which was discovered in the Charnwood Forest.
These could be some of the very earliest life forms from which all others evolved.
http://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/did-unearth-fossils-world-s-animal/story-12840052-detail/story.html

A retired geologist believes rocks he discovered more than 40 years ago contain the tiny fossils of the oldest animal ever found.
Dr Martin Litherland, from Loughborough, unearthed the coral­like specimens in the mountains of western Scotland in 1967 and initially believed them to be common finds dating back to the Cambrian period about 520 million years ago.
However, recent work to find the age of the rocks has now suggested they are around 650 million years old. That means they would outdate any finds previously thought to be the oldest, including the 560 millionyear­old Charnia fossil which was discovered in the Charnwood Forest.
Dr Litherland, 66, has had an article entitled "Is the earliest animal Scottish?" published in the latest edition of the Edinburgh Geologist journal.
He said: "When I found the fossils all those years ago I realised it was a life form but I was not originally that excited because I thought it was considerably younger than what we know it to be today."
The Scottish rock (Easdale Slates) where the animal comes from has been dates to at least 630 to 650 million years, which Dr Litherland believes makes the animal the earliest ever found.
He added: "It is even possible that this creature is the origin of all animal life. "The Earth then was only water and rocks but this earliest animal shows that at 630 to 650 years ago, when the Earth was coming out of a global glaciation, there was sufficient oxygen for shallow water life and a sufficient ozone layer to protect it.
"It is possible it could have evolved into our ancestral, free swimming vertebrate."
Dr Litherland has named the animal Beregonia after the ancient fort of Beregonium near Benderloch where he found the specimen. He took his findings to a number of paleontologists for verification but got a luke­warm reception. He said: "They didn't like the fact that a geologists had made the find. I wasn't really one of the club so they were not supportive. >"However I am certain this is a significant find." He added: "I think it may be the dawn of animal life and us. "Geologists and all scientists simply search for the truth, and I spent most of my active career in the Kalahari, the Amazon and the Andes looking for this.
"What I found in Benderloch is just one more piece of the universal truth." The specimen is being kept at Liverpool University, where he was studying at the time, and Dr Litherland said he hoped further investigations will be carried out at Benderloch to follow up on his finds.
He said: "The rocks were fresh in 1967 from a railway cutting, but they are now weathered and overgrown. "Further exploration and sampling would require a digger but I think it would be well worth it.


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