500 million years of age & age found in Canada

Brian Pratt in the Burgess Shiel. Credit: University of Saskatchewan

Prehistoric worms have been resided in a & # 39; seabed 500 million years ago – evidence of an active life in an environment that thought that space could not be taken so far, research by the University of Saskatchewan (USask) shows.

It was considered that the seabed in the deep ocean was not in a century; Cambrian has been unsuitable for livestock because there were not enough oxygen to keep it up.

But research published in the scientific journal Geology to show that tunnels are tired worms; going back to the Cambrian for 270 million years before they affect dinosaurs.

The discovery, by Professor Brian Pratt, says that animal life in the sediment at that time was more than expected.

The worms are worms where worms live and eat; Behavior through sediment is not visible to the visible eye. But Pratt was "at his feet" and they put down the rocks and destroyed them to find out if they were going to see them. signs of old life.

The cliffs from a locality in the remote hills of Mackenzie Northwest Territories in Canada discovered Pratt for 35 years ago.

Pratt sent digital images to the landowner of the rocks so that he could study more closely. Only then the hidden "superhighway" was made of excavations made by different sizes and prehistoric worm types in the rock.

It's just some size engineer and others are as big as a branch. The smaller ones may have been made with simple polychaetes-no bristle-worms, but one of the large shapes of the predators that invaded unflexible rubble fabrics and flat worms were on top.

Pratt said he was "amazing" with his unexpected look.

"For the first time, we saw evidence of large numbers of worms living in the sediment – who thought it was not tight," he said. "There were tunnels-worms in the mud on the continental shelf 500 million years ago, and more animals were reacting, or destroying the seabed, than ever before. ; think. "

Pratt, a geologist expert and paleontologist and Companion of the American Geological Society, found the tunnels in sedimentary rocks that resemble Burgess Shale, a famous fossil resource in Canadian Rockies.

The search may suggest a reconsideration of oxygen levels in ancient oceans and continental shelves.

In the time of Chambrian, a blast of life on the Earth in the seas and the development of multi-cell organisms; including prehistoric worms, clams, willow and crabs and lobsters. Previously there were simple microbes and algae that people lived in the seas.

It has always been thought that the creatures in the & # 39; Burgess Shale, known for the richness of their fossils, was preserved as small as the oxygen content of the sea tunnel stopped its decline, and that no animals were intact; living in the mud to eat the carcasses.

Pratt is acquiring, with co-author Julien Kimmig, who is now from the University of Kansas, show that there are enough oxygen to keep a variety of worms in the seabed.

"Serendipity is a common part of my type of research," said Pratt. "I found these unusual rocks well in an accident every year back. On the morning I did several samples and when I put the images forward I was amazed by what did I get, "he said.

"This has a great deal of impact which now needs to be done, not only in Cambrian brackets but also in younger rocks. People should try to One way to try if it shows signs of life in samples. "

Explore more:
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