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One of science's strongest dogmas is that complex life on Earth could only evolve when oxygen levels in the atmosphere rose to close to modern levels. But now studies of a small sea sponge fished out of a Danish fjord shows that complex life does not need high levels of oxygen in order to live and grow.
The origin of complex life is one of science's greatest mysteries. How could the first small primitive cells evolve into the diversity of advanced life forms that exists on Earth today? The explanation in all textbooks is: Oxygen. Complex life evolved because the atmospheric levels of oxygen began to rise app. 630 – 635 million years ago.
However new studies of a common sea sponge from Kerteminde Fjord in Denmark shows that this explanation needs to be reconsidered. The sponge studies show that animals can live and grow even with very limited oxygen supplies.
In fact animals can live and grow when the atmosphere contains only 0.5 per cent of the oxygen levels in today's atmosphere.
Read more at: phys.org...
A little over half a billion years ago, the first forms of complex life - animals - evolved on Earth. Billions of years before that life had only consisted of simple single-celled life forms. The emergence of animals coincided with a significant rise in atmospheric oxygen, and therefore it seemed obvious to link the two events and conclude that the increased oxygen levels had led to the evolution of animals.
"But nobody has ever tested how much oxygen animals need – at least not to my knowledge. Therefore we decided to find out", says Daniel Mills.
Read more at: phys.org...
Sponges are so unlike other animals we didn't even know they were animals when they were first discovered...some thought they were plants:
It didn't surprise me that much, but I must admit that it is really fascinating that animals can grow and live with only 0.5 per cent.
The fact they are so unlike other animals leads me to think that theories about other animals shouldn't be highly threatened by finding differences with sponges. We already knew they were different, now we suspect they might be different in yet one more way.
Sponges are among the most unusual animals
because of lifestyle and appearance originally thought they were plants; especially since some are green due to commensal algae
reply to post by borntowatch
For one thing. Oxygen is liberated slowly from mechanical action of water. If left long enough, the ocean waves will tease oxygen out of the seas. Anaerobic bacterium also can create free oxygen from sulfur dioxide, etc. And my favorite, photosynthesis from green organisms.