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Low-oxygen waters limited habitable space for early animals

Tostevin, R; Wood, RA; Shields, GA; Poulton, SW; Guilbaud, R; Bowyer, F; Penny, AM; ... Clarkson, MO; + view all (2016) Low-oxygen waters limited habitable space for early animals. Nature Communications , 7 , Article 12818. 10.1038/ncomms12818. Green open access

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The oceans at the start of the Neoproterozoic Era (1,000–541 million years ago, Ma) were dominantly anoxic, but may have become progressively oxygenated, coincident with the rise of animal life. However, the control that oxygen exerted on the development of early animal ecosystems remains unclear, as previous research has focussed on the identification of fully anoxic or oxic conditions, rather than intermediate redox levels. Here we report anomalous cerium enrichments preserved in carbonate rocks across bathymetric basin transects from nine localities of the Nama Group, Namibia (∼550–541 Ma). In combination with Fe-based redox proxies, these data suggest that low-oxygen conditions occurred in a narrow zone between well-oxygenated surface waters and fully anoxic deep waters. Although abundant in well-oxygenated environments, early skeletal animals did not occupy oxygen impoverished regions of the shelf, demonstrating that oxygen availability (probably >10 μM) was a key requirement for the development of early animal-based ecosystems.

Type: Article
Title: Low-oxygen waters limited habitable space for early animals
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms12818
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms12818
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Science & Technology, Multidisciplinary Sciences, Science & Technology - Other Topics, Rare-Earth-Elements, Nama Group, Ocean Oxygenation, Ferruginous Conditions, Marine-Sediments, Shallow Seawater, Indian-Ocean, Namibia, Iron, Manganese
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Earth Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1530963
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