Articles | Volume 20, issue 10
Research article
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24 May 2023
Research article | Highlight paper |  | 24 May 2023

The Volyn biota (Ukraine) – indications of 1.5 Gyr old eukaryotes in 3D preservation, a spotlight on the “boring billion”

Gerhard Franz, Vladimir Khomenko, Peter Lyckberg, Vsevolod Chournousenko, Ulrich Struck, Ulrich Gernert, and Jörg Nissen


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The study by Franz et al. provides exciting new insights into deep biosphere processes during the 'boring billion', indicating that fungi-like eukaryotic organisms developed before 1 Ga and that a deep continental biosphere was already present in the Early Mesoproterozoic/Late Paleoproterozoic.
Short summary
This research describes the occurrence of Precambrian fossils, with exceptionally well preserved morphology in 3D. These microfossils reach a size of millimeters (possibly up to centimeters) and thus indicate the presence of multicellular eukaryotes. Many of them are filamentous, but other types were also found. These fossils lived in a depth of several hundred meters and thus provide good evidence of a continental the deep biosphere, from a time generally considered as the boring billion.
Final-revised paper