Monday, March 30, 2015
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In a new research scientists assume the seemingly lowly sponge may have paved the way for all the lives on our planet, including human beings.
The study is published in the Nature Geoscience journal and it writes these sponges appear to have added oxygen into the deep ocean and that has further created such environment in which the evolution of oxygen-using animals could have evolved.
Earlier research has found the sponges also survives in such water where the levels of oxygen is very low.
Lead author of the study, Tim Lenton, said the ocean surface waters had enough water for more than 1.5 billion years before the evolution of first animal took place, but oxygen was still cut off in the dark depths of the ocean.
According to DNA analysis, the earliest sponges may have emerged about 700 million years ago and then oceans had little oxygen. It further reveals that between 700 and 600 million years ago oxygen started to be available in more quantity in the oceans gradually. Scientists have also discovered animal fossils dating to 650 million years old.
Sponges are multicellular organisms with pores and channels. Its feeding technique is different. Nutrient-containing water circulates through them.
Researchers say the sponges filter out tiny particles of organic matter from ocean water while feeding. These organic matter particles would have included dead microbial matter million of years ago, and it may have rotten and consumed oxygen. As an aftermath the sponges may have helped to clean the water of this material. In this process the water may have experienced increased oxygen levels.
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