The evolution conditions that raised the first creatures from their humble origins to the various animal species we know today have fascinated researchers for decades.
A new study notes that shallow waters, especially around sea-side areas where the best places for animals to evolve the features that will eventually allow them to reach dry land.
Since the dawn of our planet microbes were its only inhabitants for eons. At some point, an unexpected event led to the appearance of the primitive multicellular organisms to which all life can be traced back. In a flash, complex creatures started to appear all around the world, from beaches to mountains as the animals quickly adapted to their new conditions.
The original habitat where evolution started to play its game has remained a mystery due to the lack of conclusive fossils but the situation has dramatically changed.
The study argues that shallow zones played a vital role in the development of all the vertebrate animals alike today, as the first stated to appear in these very locations more than 480 million years ago.
What makes this discovery particularly valuable is the fact that it points us to potential alien life hotspots on other habitable planets. It also notes that if shallow waters didn’t form life on Earth would have remained primitive even today.
Some biologists believed that early vertebrates may have appeared in shallow waters, ranging from fresh water to salt water or even among the coral reefs.
The lack of suitable fossils has kept the situation muddy as there were no clear hints. Vertebrate fossils are quite rare since they first appeared and until the boom period that started with the Cambrian Explosion. A new development in fossils analysis allowed researchers to test their theory.
Researchers were able to use the fossils they have already collected in order to reconstruct the evolutionary tree of several vertebrate fishes
It seems that shallow lagoons are the primary origin zones for many vertebrate species. As they evolved and adapted the creatures were eventually able to move into other areas. Those that weren’t able to develop valuable mutations. Some of the more feeble creatures tried to return to the ocean and it seems that most started their early life in freshwater spaces.
Scientists now believe that shallow waters are essential to the development of complex life forms. While waterworlds where thought to be suitable for sustain life, the discovery suggests that only fishes could be encountered on such exoplanets.
Laura grew up in a small town in northern Quebec. She studied chemistry in college, graduated, and married her husband one month later. They were then blessed with two baby boys within the first four years of marriage. Having babies gave their family a desire to return to the old paths – to nourish their family with traditional, homegrown foods; rid their home of toxic chemicals and petroleum products; and give their boys a chance to know a simple, sustainable way of life. They are currently building a homestead from scratch on two little acres in central Texas. There’s a lot to be done to become somewhat self-sufficient, but they are debt-free and get to spend their days living this simple, good life together with their five young children. Laura is an advocate for people with disabilities.