The secrets of evolution unearthed in Highlands

The secrets of evolution unearthed in Highlands

A very important moment in the history of the origin of life on Earth – that point of time when there was just ample amount of oxygen in the atmosphere to support the evolving of complex animals and plants - has been discovered.

According to the discovery, this moment occurred in history around 400 million years earlier than was previously thought.

Geologists studying rocks in Scotland are of the belief that oxygen – the chief element for life – started increasing to useful concentrations in the Earth's atmosphere approximately 1.2 billion years ago instead of the 800 million years which was previously the belief.

This discovery pushes back that moment in the history of the world when complex organisms could start to evolving from the simple microbes that had been residing in the planet for most of its history.

However, this raises a question regarding what the ultimate spark that ignited the evolutionary explosion of life was that eventually led to the very wide diversity of species we see today.

For this discovery, rocks were studied near Lochinver in Scotland to find chemical signatures of bacteria which gave substantial proof that the oxygen should necessarily have risen to appropriate levels 1.2 billion years ago.


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