Source: The post is based on the article “Dickinsonia fossil found in Bhimbetka turns out to be decayed beehive” published in The Hindu on 23rd February 2023
What is the News?
In 2021, the discovery of a rare 550-million-year-old fossil of Dickinsonia, a primitive marine animal was reported from the Bhimbetka rock shelters near Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.
However, the ‘fossil’ turned out to be something else. It was found that the fossil was nothing but an imprint of a recently decayed beehive.
What is Dickinsonia?
Dickinsonia is considered to be the Earth’s ‘oldest animal’, dating back 570 million years.
It lived during the late Ediacaran period(575 to 541 million years ago) in what is now Australia, Russia, and Ukraine.
It was first described by Reg Sprigg, the original discoverer of the Ediacaran biota in Australia. He named it after Ben Dickinson, then Director of Mines for South Australia.
It is believed to be one of the key links between the early, simple organisms and the explosion of life in the Cambrian Period, about 541 million years ago.
Previously, fossils of Dickinsonia have been found in Australia, Russia, Ukraine, and China.