Researchers analyze ancient ocean oxygen levels to illuminate evolution of marine environments

  • World
  • Friday, 05 Apr 2024

JERUSALEM, April 4 (Xinhua) -- Scientists from Israel, the United States and Canada reconstructed the oxygen levels within ancient oceans with "a pioneering application of dolomite U-Pb geochronology," shedding new light on the evolution of ancient marine environments, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HU) said in a statement on Thursday.

In the new study published in Nature Communications, the team developed a reliable proxy for reconstructing the levels of oxygen within ancient marine habitats by uncovering discrepancies in dolomite samples U-Pb ratios.

The findings reveal a significant rise in marine oxygenation during the Late Paleozoic era, about 400 million years ago, hundreds of millions of years after the emergence of animal life.

These findings suggest that early animals evolved in mostly oxygen-poor oceans and that changes in ocean oxygen were driven by evolution.

The researchers noted that the discoveries also have implications for the search for extraterrestrial life through tracking oxygen changes in exoplanet atmospheres.

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