Ancient explosion of ocean life wasn’t triggered by space rock bombardment: study
Explosion of ocean life nearly 471 million years ago, known as the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event (GOBE), wasn’t triggered by a meteorite bombardment of Earth, an international team of researchers found in a new study.
Challenging the widely-accepted theory, the new study by researchers from Sweden and Denmark suggested that the ancient ocean creature expansion started roughly 2 million years before the space rock bombardment.
The new finding was based on fresh dating of crystals collected from meteorite-bearing sediments in parts of Sweden. Study co-author Anders Lindskog, of Sweden’s Lund University, said their study showed that the two phenomena were unrelated because there was no measurable ‘extraterrestrial’ influence on our planet’s biodiversity.
Speculating that it was likely a blend of events and processes, Lindskog said, “Combined with the presence of many small continents (allowing for more endemic faunas, adding to the sum of different species) and beneficial climate change (cooling, most likely), we have a pretty nice 'recipe' for biodiversification.”
According to researchers, the GOBE kicked off around 70 million years after the first major explosion of life on our planet during the preceding Cambrian period, roughly 540 million years ago.
The researchers reported their findings in the most recent edition of the journal Nature Communications.