New research shows that the oldest complex lifeforms on Earth likely fed by osmosis. Modular organisms lived in the nutrient-rich oceans of the Ediacaran period more than 540 million years ago. These organisms were unlike any other on Earth, and because of this they are not well understood. Now, scientists may have determined how these unique creatures were able to feed. A new study shows that they likely absorbed nutrients through their outer membrane – using a method known as ‘osmosis’. The study provides new insight into the evolution of life on Earth.