Жизнь на Земле существовала 3,5 миллиарда лет назад

Жизнь на Земле существовала 3,5 миллиарда лет назад

Геологи заявили, что получили этому прямые доказательства

Жизнь на Земле существовала 3,5 миллиарда лет назад
фото: pixabay.com

Три с половиной миллиарда лет назад Земля была не такой, как сейчас — в частности, её атмосфера не была богата кислородом и являлась бы непригодная для многих современных живых существ. Тем не менее, предполагается, что уже тогда, а вероятно, и ещё раньше планету населяли микроорганизмы. Тем не менее, найти свидетельства, позволяющие доказать существование столь древних форм жизни, довольно трудно.

В ходе нового исследования группа учёных под руководством Джона Уолли из университета Висконсина в Мэдисоне тщательно изучила изотопный и химический состав отроженй графита в австралийских отложениях. Как выяснилось, доля определённых изотопов углерода в них характерна именно для графита, имеющего биологическое происхождение. Речь идёт об атомах углерода-12 и углерода-13.

Продолжив сопоставлять неорганические отложения и предположительные останки древних микробов, учёные сумели восстановить картину того, как протекал их метаболизм. По всей видимости, основным источником энергии для них был метан, который в тот период истории Земли присутствовал в атмосфере в изобилии.

По словам учёных, результаты их исследования позволяют предположить существование именно древних архей, то есть живых существ, не являющимися ни бактериями, ни эукариотами (этот домен включает в себя, в том числе, животных и растения). Если о существовании столь древних бактерий специалисты подозревали и ранее, однако археи, как предполагалось до недавнего времени, появились на Земле лишь 2,7 миллиарда лет назад.

Исследование было опубликовано в журнале Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Источник: mk.ru

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