Evidence of earliest oxygen-breathing life on land found
Analysis indicates earliest estimate to date for Great Oxidation Event — 2.48 billion years ago
Courtesy of Kurt Konhauser
The transformation known as the Great Oxidation Event occurred when the atmosphere gained oxygen, an element crucial for nearly all animal life, including humans. The new analysis indicates the earliest estimate to date for the start of the Great Oxidation Event — 2.48 billion years ago. Other research has suggested small amounts of the gas appeared in the oceans and possibly the atmosphere around 2.5 billion years ago.
Courtesy of Stefan Lalonde
Scientists believe microbes called cyanobacteria living in the ocean kick-started the transformation when they began to photosynthesize. Oxygen, a byproduct of photosynthesis, accumulated in the ocean, then percolated into the atmosphere. Now, oxygen accounts for 21 percent of the air we breathe, and humans need it to survive.
- Oxygen breathing bugs older than thought (news.bioscholar.com)
- New evidence for the oldest oxygen-breathing life on land (eurekalert.org)
- Oxygen-breathing life on land began earlier than thought (news.bioscholar.com)
- Canadian-led research pushes back date of earliest life on Earth (canada.com)
- Scientists studying ‘fool’s gold’ to analyse Earth’s evolution 2.4 bn yrs ago (news.bioscholar.com)
- How-To: Anodize Aluminum Without Strong Acid (makezine.com)
- Fool’s gold gives scientists priceless insight into Earth’s evolution (scienceblog.com)
- World’s Oldest Fossils Show Sulfur-Based Microbes Lived 3.4 Billion Years Ago, Presenting a New Target for Astrobiology Could sulfur-based microbes live on Mars? (imullins89.wordpress.com)