Primitive Animals Needed Less Oxygen to Survive

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A popular scientific theory says that life on Earth evolved thanks to the oxygen rich oceans. But a new study by researchers from the University of Southern Denmark in Odense and the University of British Columbia, shows that very early primitive life on Earth might have been able to survive with minimal oxygen.

A popular scientific theory says that life on Earth evolved thanks to the oxygen rich oceans.

But a new study by researchers from the University of Southern Denmark in Odense and the University of British Columbia, shows that very early primitive life on Earth might have been able to survive with minimal oxygen.

Daniel Mills, author of the study from the University of Southern Denmark said: “There must have been other ecological and evolutionary mechanisms at play. Maybe life remained microbial for so long because it took a while to develop the biological machinery required to construct an animal.”

By studying modern sea sponges, a primitive animal whose ancient cousins were reportedly one of the earliest animals to inhabit Earth, researchers tested how much oxygen they need to survive.

The sponges were collected from an oxygenated fjord in Denmark before being placed in aquariums.

Researchers lowered the level of oxygen in the aquarium and found that the sponges could live in water that had 200 times less oxygen than is currently in our planet’s atmosphere.

Because sponges haven’t changed that much over their evolutionary history, the results of the study have led experts to hypothesize that ancient early life forms only needed a fraction of the oxygen that exists on the planet today.

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