Clues to Cambrian Explosion may Make ET Life More Likely

Message boards : SETI@home Science : Clues to Cambrian Explosion may Make ET Life More Likely
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Michael Watson

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Message 1601797 - Posted: 17 Nov 2014, 21:19:04 UTC
Last modified: 17 Nov 2014, 21:33:31 UTC

The earliest life on Earth, known as prokaryotes, was quite simple, and remained so for billions of years. The so-called Cambrian Explosion, about 600 million years ago, in which more complex forms of life quickly arose, came relatively late in the history of life on our planet.
It's been wondered what was behind this delay. It's even been argued on this basis that the transition from simple to complex forms of life is very improbable, and, so, that complex life is rare in the universe, at large.
Some new research finds that oxygen was very scarce, before the Cambrian, and that this may have delayed the beginnings of Eukaryotes, as more complex life is called. These more complex forms of life require a good deal of oxygen to flourish. It appears that they may have done so as soon as conditions allowed it. This seems to suggest that complex life may be common, throughout the universe.
It's believed that oxygen, slowly accumulated in Earth's atmosphere as a waste product of simpler life forms, and then, perhaps more rapidly, as the breakup of the supercontinents into smaller land masses, more like those we know today, released additional oxygen into the air. An article giving more details on this is linked, below:
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Message 1601951 - Posted: 18 Nov 2014, 2:49:59 UTC

Thank you Michael! :) VERY interesting... I wonder if anyone's told Brian Cox...? :)
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Message 1602223 - Posted: 18 Nov 2014, 16:56:57 UTC

I think there was earlier stuff than prokaryotes called protocells.


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Message 1609032 - Posted: 4 Dec 2014, 10:10:30 UTC
Last modified: 4 Dec 2014, 10:11:00 UTC

So the Cambrian Explosion is then supposed to be have been an asteroid impact then?

Or was it rather something that took off her on earth instead?

Please explain this to me.
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Profile William Rothamel

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Message 1609118 - Posted: 4 Dec 2014, 15:25:39 UTC - in response to Message 1609032.  

Sufficient Oxygen to support higher life-form development took a long time to build up to the required level. Algae in the primordial oceans produced Oxygen as a byproduct of their "exhalations".
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Message boards : SETI@home Science : Clues to Cambrian Explosion may Make ET Life More Likely

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