Paleontologists have discovered microscopic fossil remains of green algae near Dalian in Liaoning Province in northern China. The microfossils are approximately one billion years old.
They represent a previously unknown species of green algae, called Proterocladus anticus, and are barely visible to the naked eye at 2 mm in length, or are approximately the size of a typical flea. They are.
Proterocladus anticus (Virginia Tech image): The new fossils suggest that green algae were important actors in the ocean when their lands descended and took control of the dry land, said lead author Professor Shuhai Xiao, a researcher at the Center for Geology and Global Change in Virginia. Tech said.
The entire biosphere depends heavily on plants and algae for food and oxygen, but land plants did not develop until about 450 million years ago. Our study shows that green algae did not develop a billion years ago, pushing back green algae records after about 200 million years. What kind of food for marine algae does the marine ecosystem provide?
The current hypothesis is that terrestrial trees, grasses, food crops, shrubs and even kudzu evolved from green algae, which were aquatic plants. Through geological time they ran out of water and acclimatized and prospered to dry land, their new natural environment.
“These fossils belong to the ancestors of all modern land plants that are seen today,” said Professor Xiao. However, the warning that not all geologists are on the same page continues to debate the origin of green plants.
“Not everyone agrees with us; some scientists think that green plants began in rivers and lakes, and then conquered the sea and the land.
In the context of this digital entertainment, the old green algae Protocolladus anticus appears a billion years ago while living in the sea. There are similar algae in the fossilization process later in the foreground.
In the context of this digital entertainment, the old green algae Protocolladus anticus appears a billion years ago while living in the sea. There are similar algae in the fossilization process later in the foreground. Image sincerely: Dinghua Yang
There are three main types of algae: brown (phyophyceae), green (chlorophyta) and red (rhodophyta), and thousands of species of each type. Red algae fossils, now common at the bottom of the ocean, have been described as 1.047 billion years.
There are some modern green algae that look like the fossils we found, said Professor Xiao. A group of modern green algae, known as cyphonocadalion, are particularly similar in size and shape to the fossils we find.
Photosynthetic plants are, of course, important for the ecological balance of the planet because they produce organic carbon and oxygen through photosynthesis, and form the food and shelter base for an incalculable number of mammals, fish and more. Provide…Even so, 2 billion years ago, Earth had no green plants in the oceans, Professor Xiao said.
“Proterocladus anticus seaweed exhibits many branches, conspicuous growth and specialized cells known as fossils of this type,” said lead author Dr. Said King Tang, a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Geosciences and Global Change in Virginia. Tech
Together, these characteristics strongly suggest that the fossil is a green algae with multicellular complexes that are one billion years old. These possibilities represent the oldest fossils of green algae. In summary, our study suggests that the green plants we see today date back at least one billion years.