Using AI to probe the dawn of animal life

A joint Australian-US team has a plan to use AI to understand the oldest complex fossils on Earth – and they’ve just received a cool US$300,000 (about $410,000) grant from NASA to do it. The natural archive of Earth’s geological record contains fossils and other signals of living creatures, which helps us understand the evolutionary … Continue reading Using AI to probe the dawn of animal life

Animal? Vegetable? Now mineral.

All other photos in this story by Ian Connellan. On a hillside just west of the Flinders Ranges, geologist Mary Droser lounges casually on a slab of 550-million-year-old sandstone. The sun has just hit its golden afternoon angle; it illuminates squiggled lines in the rocks, throwing into sharp contrast some of the earliest evidence for … Continue reading Animal? Vegetable? Now mineral.

Behind the scenes: new national park offers an exclusive window into life at the dawn of time

There’s a place where you can get a glimpse of the world as it was when animals were first becoming animals, and it has just become Australia’s newest national park. Six hours north of Adelaide on a lonely stretch of highway west of the Flinders Ranges, a dirt road snakes off the bitumen, through a … Continue reading Behind the scenes: new national park offers an exclusive window into life at the dawn of time