Home » News & Blogs » Lack of oxygen may have delayed the evolution of complex critters
Bookmark and Share
Galileo's Pendulum

Lack of oxygen may have delayed the evolution of complex critters

2 Nov 2014, 20:20 UTC
Lack of oxygen may have delayed the evolution of complex critters
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Earth formed about 4.5 billion years ago. Life followed around 3.8 billion years ago, apparently almost as soon as the first rocks solidified from the molten surface. However, the ancestors of all modern complex animals — insects, crustaceans, vertebrates of all descriptions — didn’t arrive on the scene until about 570 million years ago, in […]

Hallucigenia, an odd fossil from the Cambrian that is probably related to modern velvet worms. [Credit: Chip Clark, Smithsonian Institution]Earth formed about 4.5 billion years ago. Life followed around 3.8 billion years ago, apparently almost as soon as the first rocks solidified from the molten surface. However, the ancestors of all modern complex animals — insects, crustaceans, vertebrates of all descriptions — didn’t arrive on the scene until about 570 million years ago, in what is commonly known as the “Cambrian explosion”. Today we know it wasn’t quite as sudden an event as we used to think, but it was still relatively rapid in geologic and evolutionary terms.
But what took critters so long? A new paper proposes that the culprit may have been lack of oxygen in the air and water, based on a study of oxidation: the way oxygen bonds strongly with ...

Latest Vodcast

Latest Podcast

Advertise PTTU

NASA Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture of the Day

astronomy_pod