Oxygen has provided a breath of fresh air to the study of the Earth's evolution some 400-plus million years ago.
For researchers pursuing the primordial history of oxygen in Earth's atmosphere, a new study might sour some "Eureka!" moments. A contemporary tool used to trace oxygen by examining ancient rock strata can produce false positives, ...
Scientists know that atmospheric oxygen irreversibly accumulated on Earth around 2.3 billion years ago, at a time known as the Great Oxidation Event, or GOE. Prior to that time all life was microbial, and most, if not all, ...
Dramatic drops in oceanic oxygen, which cause mass extinctions of sea life, come to a natural end - but it takes about a million years.
A low level of atmospheric oxygen in Earth's middle ages held back evolution for 2 billion years, raising fresh questions about the origins of life on this planet.
For the development of animals, nothing—with the exception of DNA—may be more important than oxygen in the atmosphere.
The evolution of the first land plants including mosses may explain a long-standing mystery of how Earth's atmosphere became enriched with oxygen, according to an international study led by the University of Exeter.
A couple of times in four billion years, evolution has slowed to a crawl. And an eon or so has passed before more complex life forms, such as simple animals, could arise.