Ancient Rocks Prove Existence Of Life Before Oxygen

Posted: Nov 30 2016, 11:03am CST | by , in Latest Science News


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Ancient Rocks Prove Existence of Life Before Oxygen
This is a microscopic image of 2.5 billion-year-old sulfur-oxidizing bacterium. Credit: Andrew Czaja, UC assistant professor of geology
  • Life Existed Without Oxygen in Ancient Rocks

Scientists new research depicts that life existed without oxygen billions years before. The research revolves around newly discovered bacteria from deep ocean water that is rich in sulfur.

University of Cincinnati has reported a new geology research that shows that early life creatures existed without oxygen.

Scientists say that, 4.5 billion years before the level of oxygen was less than 1000th part of one percent of the oxygen that exists presently. You can’t imagine your life with this amount of oxygen.

The research is based on newly discovered bacteria, which was taken from two different parts of South Africa in the Northern Cape Province.

According to UC assistant professor of geology, Mr.Andrew Czaja, the bacteria were found in deep fossils, which are considered the oldest sulfur bacteria. He says that it’s a big discovery that shows the nature of ecosystem at that time.

Andrew Czaja said that the bacteria are really larger than any normal bacteria, however they resemble modern organisms living in Deep Ocean where sulfur is rich in quantity, and there is no oxygen.

This research was published in Geology, a journal in Geological Society of America. The participants of the research were Andrew Czaja, and Jeffrey Osterhout,and Nicolas Beukes.

The researchers did their study on fossils which existed in deep and Dark Ocean. These fossil bacteria have their existence 2 billion years before when there were no other creatures, like plants and trees which produce oxygen.

According to scientists, the bacteria and certain other creatures survived at that time,because they were not dependent on oxygen or sunlight.

According to Czaja,it’s rare to find such rocks as they are present in only some areas of South Africa, and Western Australia. Both regions used to be in one continent in early periods, and the continent was called Vaalbara.

Both parts got separated due to some changes in earth’s surface. The age is called an era of great oxidation that happened 2.4 to 2.2 billion years before. The scientists are still doing research to find out how these bacteria survived without oxygen at that time.

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