Scientists: complex life forms were established thanks to the tiny predators
Speaking of the Ice Age, we immediately think of large-scale cold snap that occurred about 110,000 years ago. However, scientists have theorized that long before the well-known period of our planet is faced with decreasing temperature so strong that it has become like a huge snowball. The theory is called "Earth-snowball", and scientists still was not clear how, after such a global cataclysm, life on earth has come to its normal state. Answer the question helped fossil oils.
They were found in the molecules contained in the rocks of the Brazilian older than 635 million years old - roughly the time and ended the era of the "snowball". Their chemical structure was studied using nuclear magnetic resonance. As a result, scientists have found traces of ancient fat, called 25, 28-bisnorgammatseran (BNG).
All of the higher forms of animal life, including humans, produce cholesterol. Algae and bacteria also produce typical fat molecule. These fat molecules can survive in the rocks for millions of years as the old chemical remnants of organisms. Now they can tell us what type of life flourished in the ancient oceans, - explained Lennart van Maldegem, senior author of the study.
To find out exactly how existing molecules BNG was made, the researchers looked for traces of it in other places. It was very common - especially many traces were found in the Grand Canyon. After examining the distribution of steroids and isotopic carbon structure, the researchers concluded that the molecule belongs heterotrophic plankton - one of the first predatory life forms.
Scientists believe that after the icy condition of the planet is engaged in the plankton eating bacteria, which led to the emergence of more complex organisms. After warming the oceans were filled with eroded mountains nutrients that contribute to the development of algae. Tiny Predators started the food chain, which ultimately led to the emergence of large animals, and subsequently - reasonable people.
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