Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Ancient Microbes Responsible for Breathing Life Into Ocean 'Deserts'

More than two and a half billion years ago, Earth differed greatly from our modern environment, specifically in respect to the composition of gases in the atmosphere and the nature of the life forms inhabiting its surface. While today's atmosphere consists of about 21 percent oxygen, the ancient atmosphere contained almost no oxygen. Life was limited to unicellular organisms. The complex eukaryotic life we are familiar with -- animals, including humans -- was not possible in an environment devoid of oxygen.

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