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What was the first animal on earth?

What was the first animal on earth?
Daisy Hinton from Swansea (Age 5-14)

What was the first animal on earth and how do you know?
Charlotte Pierzchniak from Kent (Age 5-14)

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One Response

  1. A very hard question! When you say animal I suppose you do not mean plant or simpler things like bacteria. We usually know about ancient living things because they leave fossils – the hard bits of the skeleton that turn into stone. But almost certainly the very oldest animals did not have hard skeletons, and so the only fossils they left are impressions in what was soft mud which then hardened. Fossils like that are very rare, but they are found in rocks that were formed about 2 bilion years ago. Certain kinds of bacteria may be older. These very ancient creatures were probably very simple, just single cells, and it is not realy until about 500 million years ago that more complicated creatures, that we might recognise as animals, first appeared. These were perhaps rather like today’s earthworms or jelly fish. Not as exciting as dinosaurs!
    If you look at the web site http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/vendian/critters.html
    from Berkeley University in America you will see pictures of the fossils of these ancient animals, and explanations of what they were. You might need a some help with this – it’s just a bit difficult!

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