Scientists have found an animal that survives in the apocalypse

radjab By radjab, 10th Feb 2017 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
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Shacks sea sponges were the most resistant animals in the world - they have gone through all the major mass extinctions of flora and fauna, and served as the main "restorers" destroyed the planet's ecosystems, according to a paper published in the journal Current Biology.

Scientists have found out who will survive the apocalypse

"We assume that the jaws have a tenacity due to the fact that they can live for very large variation of temperature and under near zero oxygen concentration. In turn, their food source are particles of organics in water whose amount was abruptly increased in Ocean after the mass death of other animals, "- said Dzhohef Botting (Joseph Botting) from the National museum of Wales in Cardiff (United Kingdom).

Scientists have isolated the history of life on Earth, five major mass extinctions of species. The last of them, the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event, occurred about 65.5 million years ago and led to the extinction of the dinosaurs and all major terrestrial and marine reptiles. It is believed that each such event is accompanied by an evolutionary explosion - rapid expansion, physical growth and specialization of surviving species that occupy the vacated ecological niches.

Ordovician extinction, the second power of the catastrophe in Earth's history, occurred about 443 million years ago and led to the death of 85% of species and 60% of deliveries of marine invertebrates. Hardest hit bryozoans, bivalves, and corals - in some cases, generic variety has decreased by two-thirds. Most likely, the cause of the extinction was the fall in carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere of the Earth and the subsequent cooling.

It tells Botting, our understanding of this extinction is extremely sketchy, as the breed of that time almost did not survive in the world. The only known deposits of this period have been found in South Africa almost 20 years ago, and they are ground with shallow water with prints got there the remains of living things. About that, what changes were at great depths, we almost do not know.

Botting and his team produced the first information of this kind, to find the whole "graveyard" of ancient underwater organisms digging rocks of the Ordovician period, in the south-east China, in Zhejiang province. Virtually the entire territory of China at that time was a shallow sea in the vicinity of the equator of the Earth, divided by a variety of large and small islands.

During the Ordovician extinction of this sea as excavations have shown to the authors, it was literally covered with a forest of sea sponges. According to the scientists, they found in the bamboo forests of modern China a giant reservoir rocks in the 10-kilometer-long, fully-stocked remains of sponges, the number of species which, according to the most crude and preliminary estimates, more than a hundred.

What is interesting in these deposits was attended by both small and large enough sponge, which is considered an extremely unusual thing for mass extinctions and time periods immediately following them. Apparently, the sponge not only quickly recovered after the accident, but quickly began to fill the empty niches in the shallows and depths of the seas. In some cases, the diversity of species in these deposits exceeded that which exists in the seas of the Earth today.

Sponges were not the only inhabitants of the seas at the time - in addition to their prints, scientists were able to find in Zhejiang a few fragments of shells nautilus, as well as complete shell prints merostomes and prints large sea slug.

As scientists believe, like the variety of sponges indicates that they have a few hundred million years, the major role played by "engineering" the Earth's ecosystems, maintaining their stability and restoring them after extinction. It is possible that a nuclear disaster or the next mass extinction again lead to what will survive no cockroaches or rats, and sponges. They will dominate the Earth's seas until such time as its ecosystem will not recover for the sixth time, the authors conclude the article. | news.rambler


Animals, Apocalypse, Current Biology, Most Resistant Animals, Restorers, Scientists

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