Last updated September 11, 2017 at 9:19 am
Research led by The Australian National University (ANU) has solved the mystery of how the first animals appeared on Earth, a pivotal moment for the planet without which humans would not exist.
The answer was found in ancient sedimentary rocks from central Australia.
“We crushed these rocks to powder and extracted molecules of ancient organisms from them,” said Associate Professor Jochen Brocks from the ANU Research School of Earth Sciences.
“These molecules tell us that it really became interesting 650 million years ago. It was a revolution of ecosystems, it was the rise of algae.”
Dr Brocks said the rise of algae triggered one of the most profound ecological revolutions in Earth’s history, without which humans and other animals would not exist.
Find out more about this ground-breaking discovery on the Science at ANU website.