HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Early critters in microbial mats: Evolution or just a strange environment?

For many billions of years, the only life that existed on Earth was microbial, that is, microscopic organisms that we generally call bacteria. These were commonly so abundant that microbial mats basically covered much of the Earths ocean seafloors.

Then during the Cambrian, a little more than a half billion years ago, animals evolved and burrowed into the microbial mats and took advantage of this rich food source. Of course, that means they eventually ate up the mats.

Many Cambrian animals have a seemingly strange morphology, and have been thought by many to represent early evolutionary experiments. Among these are the helicoplacoidsthe earliest known echinoderms and ancestors of modern animals like the starfish. Shaped like a football, a helicoplacoid had "armor" that was essentially small mineralized plates formed into spirals. Even its food-gatherng organ was a spiral that wound around its body.

David Bottjer, of the University of Southern California, does not agree with the "evolutionary experiment" interpretation of how these animals came about. He will outline a different approach to understanding these strange morphologies on Thursday, November 8, at the Geological Society of America's annual meeting in Boston. Many early animals were well-adapted, via evolutionary processes, to the unusual (and now usually non-existent) microbial-mat-covered seafloor environments that were typical for the Cambrian. So, rather than the animals being particularly unusual, we are saying that the environments were!" explained Bottjer. "And, being evolutionarily well-adapted to an unusual environment gives an animal a strange morphology, to our modern eyes. So we are suggesting a different evolutionary explanation than what has been offered before, and, in that sense, are breaking from tradition."

This discovery provides a piece for the ongoing puzzle work of understanding how animal life first evolved on Earth.


'"/>

Contact: Ann Cairns
acairns@geosociety.org
303-357-1056
Geological Society of America
8-Nov-2001


Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. Berkeley Lab soil scientist Margaret Torn receives Presidential Early Career Award
2. Early detection hope for eye disease
3. Early clinical treatment can halt progression of Alzheimers disease, UCI researchers find
4. Early dexamethasone exposure has long-term neurodevelopment, neuroendocrine effects
5. Early predictor of breast cancer aggressiveness
6. Early treatment confirmed as key to stroke recovery
7. Early identification of kidney disease cost-effective only when directed at high-risk patients
8. Early promise for treatment of Ebola
9. Early treatment can prevent severe vision loss in premature infants
10. Early hominids may have behaved more human than we had thought
11. Early infection and rejection detection

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:8/7/2020)... ... August 06, 2020 , ... Nine middle school teachers from ... Program, a unique professional development program that provides advanced STEM (science, technology, engineering ... teachers nationwide. , Created in partnership between the National Stem Cell Foundation and ...
(Date:7/22/2020)... Calif. (PRWEB) , ... July 21, 2020 , ... ... driving digital transformation and innovation in technology and compliance, announces a new solution ... device companies must ensure every layer of their technology stack complies with FDA ...
(Date:7/4/2020)... ... July 03, 2020 , ... Aesthetics Biomedical (ABM), a ... awards for not only the products and treatments developed, but also the dedicated ... RF. All the brands built by ABM have received several honors already for ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/1/2020)... ... September 01, 2020 , ... ... biotechnology, and diagnostics companies, has announced the placement of Julianne Averill , ... responsible for leading all financial operations and implementing key business strategies to accelerate ...
(Date:8/12/2020)... ... August 11, 2020 , ... ... available for free its new white paper – Simulated Transport Methodologies. Regulatory ... today’s biologics licensing application (BLA). In response, Modality Solutions shares an explanation ...
(Date:7/31/2020)... ... ... R3 Stem Cell International is now offering patients the opportunity to receive ... patients may choose which extremities they would like treated. , Several studies have shown ... At R3 International, umbilical cord tissue is obtained from a lab with a long ...
(Date:7/31/2020)... ... , ... eSource has long been touted as the solution to high data ... the reasons it did not take off as quickly as people initially expected, and ... moving towards capturing data electronically for clinical trials and then repurposing it for downstream ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: