3770 million years ago the Earth was completely different. Plants and animals were not. The sky was not blue. The surface resembled a bare rocky wasteland. And yet at this time, as we think, came the first life. Deep in the ocean, near hot fissures on the bottom, known as hydrothermal vents. Hot fluids circulate through rocks on the ocean floor, bringing iron and other elements from the rocks into the surrounding water. Chemicals and energy in these environments were ideally suited for the beginning of life.
Next is the story of a scientist belongs to .
To test this theory, my colleagues and I studied ancient group of breeds in northeast Canada, which is called the zone of Novality and which 4280 3770 million to million years. Within this belt are the remains of the iron formations formed in environments similar to modern hydrothermal vents. We found microfossils that should be 300 million years older than the previous oldest known microfossils from rocks in Western Australia, which is about 3500 million years. Perhaps open us fossils are the earliest and talking about the most ancient example of life on Earth.
In Order to reveal the fossils, so we cut thin slices of rocks that through them you can watch, and studied them under a microscope. In the process we found microscopic strands and tubes of iron, with a diameter of 5-10 microns, less than half the thickness of a human hair, and up to half a millimeter in length. These threads and the tube had a striking resemblance to fossils of microbes in the younger rocks and with modern microbes as well.
Features of these ancient fibers, such as their attachment to the clots of iron, also similar to those that occur in modern microbes, which use these blobs to hold rocks. These iron-oxidizing microbes catch the iron coming out of underwater holes to use it in the reactions release chemical energy. Then this energy is used to convert carbon dioxide from the surrounding water into organic matter, which allows germs to grow.
As we have learned that there are fossils?
When we found these fossil structures, we knew that they would be very interesting and promising candidates for a host of microfossils. But we had to demonstrate that they really represent exactly what it is that they are biological. We evaluated all the possible scenarios for the formation of tubes and filaments, including chemical gradient in iron-rich gels and sprains metamorphic rocks. None of the mechanisms are not suited for observations made by us.
Then we looked for chemical traces in rocks, which could be from microorganisms. We found organic matter preserved in graphite so that it points to a formation with the participation of microbes. We also found the key minerals that are typically in the process of disintegration of biological material in sediments such as carbonate and Apatite (which contains phosphorus). These minerals also appear in granular structures that are commonly formed in sediment around decaying organisms, and sometimes retains the structure of microocellata. All these independent observations were strong evidence in favor of the biological origin of the microstructures.
And they showed a strong biological presence in breeds age 3770-4280 million years, pushing the date of the appearance of the first known microocellata 300 million years. To help you understand, if we go back 300 million years in the past, there's even a dinosaur will not, they have not yet appeared.
The fact that we found these life forms in sediments in hydrothermal vents of the early history of the Earth, has a long-standing theory that life has evolved in an environment of just that type. The environment in which we found these microfossils and their similarity with fossils younger and modern bacteria suggests that their metabolism is based on iron was one of the first ways in which life is nurtured himself on Earth.
In addition, do not forget that this discovery shows us that life was able to take possession of the Land and to grow rapidly at a time when on the surface of Mars had liquid water. This leaves us with the exciting possibility that if the conditions on the surface of Mars and Earth were similar, life was supposed to be on Mars in about 3770 million years ago. Or the Earth has become an enviable exception.
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