Meteorites did not enrich ocean life: study

Date:

Share post:

An explosion of ocean life some 471 million years ago was not sparked by a meteorite bombardment of Earth, said a study Tuesday that challenges a leading theory.

Meteorites did not enrich ocean life: study
Researchers from Sweden and Denmark said the explosion of ocean life on Earth started some two million years 
before a bombardment by meteorites [Credit: AFP/Chip Somodevilla]

Without offering an alternative explanation for what is known as the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event (GOBE), researchers from Sweden and Denmark said the creature expansion started some two million years before the space rock bombardment.

This was based on fresh dating of crystals from meteorite-bearing sediments in Sweden.

“This study shows that the two phenomena were unrelated,” researchers wrote in the journal Nature Communications.

For study co-author Anders Lindskog of Lund University in Sweden, the data showed “there is no measurable ‘extraterrestrial’ influence on biodiversity” in Earth’s oceans.

The GOBE, which vastly expanded marine life diversity, kicked off about 70 million years after the first explosion of life on Earth during the preceding Cambrian period, some 540 million years ago.

Some scientists contend that the Ordovician event was sparked by a collision of objects in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter raining debris down on our planet.

Such a bombardment may have changed the environment just enough to stimulate diversification of existing life, the theory goes.

The question of what caused it remains open, but Lindskog speculated it was likely a combination of events and processes.

“It is reasonable that the very high sea levels that prevailed during the Ordovician… simply gave more space for life to thrive,” he told AFP.

“Combined with the presence of many small continents (allowing for more endemic faunas, adding to the sum of different species) and beneficial climate change (cooling, most likely), we have a pretty nice ‘recipe’ for biodiversification,” he said by email.

Source: AFP [January 24, 2017]

ADVERTISEMENT

spot_img

Related articles

Spectacular 3,800 year old pottery vessel found in central Israel

A small extraordinary jug from the Middle Bronze Age was revealed with the assistance of pupils in the...

Defacing History

In Tamil Nadu, a variety of archaeological sites and temples with murals are facing destruction and vandalism. They...

Correcting historic sea surface temperature measurements

Something odd happened in the oceans in the early 20th century. The North Atlantic and Northeast Pacific appeared...

19th-century shipwreck found at Boston construction site

A sunken, burned ship from the 1800s uncovered during a construction project in Boston's Seaport District is a...

Did life begin on land rather than in the sea?

For three years, Tara Djokic, a Ph.D. student at the University of New South Wales Sydney, scoured the...

In quest of the cosmic origins of silver

In the quest for the cosmic origins of heavy elements, Heidelberg scientist Dr. Camilla Hansen has established that...

Mathematical models likens ecosystems to human body

An ecosystem is like a great organism in that the species in it behave in a manner similar...

‘Australia’s Jurassic Park’ the world’s most diverse

An unprecedented 21 different types of dinosaur tracks have been identified on a 25-kilometre stretch of the Dampier...