Reassessing the first appearance of eukaryotes and cyanobacteria
The evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis had a profound impact on the Earth's surface chemistry, leading to a sharp rise in atmospheric oxygen between 2.45 and 2.32 billion years (Gyr) ago and the onset of extreme ice ages. The oldest widely accepted evidence for oxygenic photosynthesis has come from hydrocarbons extracted from ∼2.7-Gyr-old shales in the Pilbara Craton, Australia, which contain traces of biomarkers (molecular fossils) indicative of eukaryotes and suggestive of oxygen-producing...[Show more]
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