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Until now, the only life forms known to live exclusively in anoxic conditions were viruses, bacteria and Archaea. But in a new study, scientists have discovered three new multicellular marine species that appear to have never lived in aerobic conditions, and never metabolized oxygen.
The discovery of the new species, which live buried in sediment under the Mediterranean seafloor, metazoans, that spend their entire lifecycle under permanently anoxic conditions. A few metazoans have been known
Instead, the new loriciferans have organelles that resemble hydrogenosomes, which are used by some single-celled eukaryotes to generate energy without oxygen.
For the past 50,000 years, the basin has possessed a dense hypersaline brine layer up to 60 meters thick. The brine serves as a physical barrier that prohibits oxygen exchange between the water and sediment, making the basin completely oxygen-free. In addition, the basin is rich in methane and hydrogen sulphide, and is also home to a diverse assembly of prokaryotes that have adapted to these conditions.
Years 0.1 to 0.8 Billion
Initially, the Earth's surface was mostly molten rock that gradually cooled through the radiation of heat into space. The primeval atmosphere was composed mostly of water (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2) and monoxide (CO), molecular nitrogen (N2) and molecular hydrogen (H2), and hydrogen chloride (HCl) outgassed from molten rock, with only traces of reactive molecular oxygen (O2).
Originally posted by weedwhacker
reply to post by ModernAcademia
Well, I daresay these are evidence of descendants of some of the very, very earliest lifeforms to have evolved on Earth.
Recall, please that in very early days, there WAS no oxygen in the Earth's atmosphere.
The primeval atmosphere was composed mostly of water (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2) and monoxide (CO), molecular nitrogen (N2) and molecular hydrogen (H2), and hydrogen chloride (HCl) outgassed from molten rock, with only traces of reactive molecular oxygen (O2).
Just before this period, some anaerobes mutated to become "aerobic" purple bacteria (proteobacteria) that metabolize molecular oxygen and substances produced by life such as carbohydrates into carbon dioxide and water. Many microbes eventually merged into symbiosis with other microbial types (e.g., acid and heat lovers, swimmers, and oxygen producers and breathers). This was accomplished through ingestion without digestion.
...Around two billion years ago, however, some of these protists merged with oxygen-breathing purple bacteria, which became mitochondria inside them. Subsequently, some of these aerobic protists merged with photosynthetic bacteria, which became chloroplasts and other plastids, to create free-swimming green algae and the precursors of today's plant cells.
Originally posted by Magnus47
organisms that created oxygen as a waste product -- the ancestors of modern plants -- did thrive in early Earth:
Originally posted by DocEmrick
I'm sure all of the "scientists" are shocked and surprised by this. I think most of us here knew that there could be lifeforms that can breath anything. Scientists are so arrogant. This is no surprise to me, but I'm glad it has been confirmed.
Originally posted by aorAki
It's an interesting discovery and shows the VALUE of Science and its ongoing contribution to understanding our Planet....and beyond.