Science & Technology
Life began on Earth much earlier than thought
By T.K. Randall
September 8, 2014 · 11 comments
The discovery could rewrite the history books. Image Credit: NASA
Scientists have determined that oxygen-producing life forms appeared around 3 billion years ago.
Based on the work of researchers at Trinity College Dublin and Presidency University in Kolkata, the discovery suggests that oxygen-producing organisms responsible for making it possible for more complex life forms to evolve first appeared on Earth 60 million years earlier than previously believed.
The discovery was made by measuring uranium-lead isotope decay in the rocks to find evidence of oxygen-based soil formation.
"This is a very exciting finding, which helps to fill a gap in our knowledge about the evolution of the early Earth," said study lead author Quentin Crowley.
"This paleosol from India is telling us that there was a short-lived pulse of atmospheric oxygenation and this occurred considerably earlier than previously envisaged."
While micro-organisms certainly existed earlier than 3 billion years ago, it wasn't until this time that some of them evolved the ability to produce oxygen through photosynthesis.
Source: IBN Live
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