Interesting piece here in the BBC Science section.

Sponges back to 650 Million years ago and apparently it casts a bit of doubt on the "snowball earth" hypothesis where the oceans were frozen during the Marinoan Glaciation. Read the article, it's interesting. :)

Sponges!

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That's very important. There's some clever geological science there.

It beats the known organisms of the Ediacaran Period by some 70 million years, as the latter seemingly appeared around 580 million years ago and flourished for about 40 million years.
Yes, clever indeed. Finding in the rocks enough of the signature chemical caused by the decomposition of sponges is rather amazing science. This might lend more credence to the theory of a not-quite-snowball Earth. And the relentless march of learning continues...

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