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Dr DiGregorio, from University of Buckingham, said: "They look remarkably similar to Ordovician trace fossils I have studied and photographed here on Earth.

"If not trace fossils, what other geological explanations will NASA come up with?"

He says the trace fossils represent signs of “soft bodies creatures” which once roamed the Red Planet.

Dr DiGregorio has now accused NASA of a cover up and said the space agency could be witholding information due to its plans to send humans to Mars in the 2030s.

"So when I started looking, it wasn't just the objects that were attached the outside, what they are calling sticks.

"If you look at the images more closely, the sticks merge into the host rock, this actually has features in it that are reminiscent of trace fossils.

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Category: Science