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News From the Field

Low Oxygen and Molybdenum in Ancient Oceans Delayed Evolution of Life by 2 Billion Years


March 26, 2008

Clinton Scott and Timothy Lyons A study led by biogeochemists at the University of California, Riverside, has found that a deficiency of oxygen and the heavy metal molybdenum in the ancient deep ocean may have delayed the evolution of animal life on Earth by nearly two billion years. The researchers arrived at their result by tracking molybdenum in black shales. Molybdenum, a key micronutrient for life, serves as a proxy for oceanic and atmospheric oxygen amounts. Full Story

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University of California - Riverside

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