July 14, 2024

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The first marine organisms on Earth fueled evolution by moving water

The first marine organisms on Earth fueled evolution by moving water

Pragatia, the cabbage-like organism found at Mistaken Point, has played a crucial role in improving oxygen and marine resources (Europa Press)

the 3D reconstruction They suggest that Simple marine animals that lived more than 560 million years ago fueled the emergence of more complex life By mixing seawater around it, according to a study conducted by the research team Natural History Museum UK Which I participated in Cambridge University. Despite their simplicity and lack of locomotion, these ancient organisms played a crucial role in the biological evolution of our planet.

Emily Mitchell“It is exciting to know that the first animals were about 580 million years ago,” the co-author of the report and a member of the zoology department at the aforementioned university said in a statement by the academic institution. They had a huge impact on their environment, despite their inability to move or swimThis statement highlights the unexpected role of these primitive creatures in shaping their ecosystems.

An international team of scientists has used advanced computer simulations to study fossils from the Paleolithic Ediacaran periodIt dates back to about 565 million years ago. The results were published in the journal Current biologyIt showed how these animals are The surrounding seawater mixedany It affected the distribution of vital resources such as food molecules and oxygen.

“These communities were able to perform ecological functions similar to those observed in present-day marine ecosystems,” said Susana Guattara (picture info).

The dynamism of the environment may have facilitated the emergence of large, complex organisms before The Cambrian “explosion”.It is an event that witnessed the diversity of animal life forms.

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To investigate these processes, LScientists have digitally recreated ecosystems Some of the first marine animals found in rocks Wrong pointnewfoundland, Canada. Known for its exceptional preservation of fossils thanks to a layer of volcanic ash (dubbed “Ediacaran Pompeii”), this site offers a unique window into the past.

As Mitchell explained: “We discovered that they mixed water and… It allowed resources to spread more widelywhich can encourage further development.

“It’s exciting to know that the first animals influenced their environment,” says Emily Mitchell, co-author of the report from the University of Cambridge (Illustrated Image Infobae).

The study also included analysis Bradgatia, A cabbage-shaped organismWhich played an essential role in changing the flow of water in its environment. Mistaken Point Bradgatia, one of the largest fossils at the site with diameters exceeding 50 cm, demonstrated the effectiveness of these ancient animals in mixing resources.

“Our results showed that these communities They were able to perform ecological functions similar to those observed in present-day marine ecosystems.“, He said Susanna Gutaraan associate scientist at the Natural History Museum and first author of the study.

The effect of these organisms on water mixing improved local oxygen concentrations and may also have had broad implications for the marine ecosystem. This biological phenomenon could have made other areas of the seafloor more habitablewhich drove evolutionary innovation.

3D fossils reveal that organisms that lived more than 560 million years ago were key to the distribution of nutrients and oxygen in the oceans (Illustrated Image Infobae)

the doctor. Imran RahmanThe lead author and researcher at the Natural History Museum explained: “The approach we developed To study Ediacara fossil communities It’s completely new to paleontology It provides us with a powerful tool to study how past and present marine ecosystems shape and influence their environment.

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This international study was funded by Natural Environment Research Council From the United Kingdom and National Science Foundation United States, and represents a major advance in our understanding of how life on Earth evolved from its simplest forms.

The exceptional preservation of fossils and the use of advanced techniques to model these ancient ecosystems has provided unprecedented insight into processes that occurred hundreds of millions of years ago. Research suggests that these early marine animals not only survived, but actively modified their environment They paved the way for the complex life forms we know today.