News & Events
Life on Earth owes a changeable level of oxygen.
- May 20, 2019
- Posted by: Wiley M. Wagner
- Category: Science
Life on Earth appeared as a result of the advancement and gradual development of the most primitive forms of life several billion years ago, but only about 540 million years ago it began to spread and amaze with its multi-cellular diversity. Despite the fact that the generally accepted concept of such emerging diversity is the theory of the so-called “Cambrian explosion”, few scientists in general realize that this explosion gave rise to. That is why a team of researchers from the University of Oxford on evolutionary biology presented its version of its beginning – which is the sharp drops in the level of oxygen on Earth.
Indeed, this theory has already been put forward before, but only indirectly – now scientists have seriously taken up it, offering the following explanation. As the level of oxygen in narrow and concentrated water bodies increased and decreased, different numbers of microorganisms continued to multiply and evolve – and, accordingly, the level of oxygen difference also influenced the development of land species.
To confirm their preliminary guesses, the research team traveled to Siberia, to the rivers Aldan and Lena – which in ancient times were just the narrowest and most concentrated reservoirs. Having collected and analyzed the state of oxygen saturation of a variety of carbon samples – divided into different marine layers, in accordance with their age – they found that the difference in them is considerable, which confirms the theory that it was the dynamic change of oxygen level that caused the explosion.
In addition, the theory itself is not devoid of some inaccuracies and nuances that require additional rechecking – however, the team of researchers is confident that it managed to find the most eloquent proof of its theory. It is also assumed that they will compare the extracted carbon samples with similar ones from other ancient reservoirs of a similar type.