Friday, March 31

Supermountains were key to evolution on Earth | Digital Trends Spanish

According to a team of researchers, the giant mountain ranges or supermountains, which stretched over 8,000 kilometers, would have played a key role in the evolution of early life on Earth.

Scientists at the Australian National University (ANU) traced the formation of these towering mountains, some as high as the Himalayas, throughout our planet’s history using traces of lutetium-low zircon, which is a mixture of minerals and elements that are only found in the roots of the high mountains.

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The researchers’ work found two supermountain-building events in Earth’s history. The first occurred 2 to 1.8 billion years ago and the second 650 to 500 million years ago.

These two mountain ranges were raised during periods of supercontinent formation. Those in charge of the study recognize that there are links between these two cases of supermountains and the two most important periods of evolution of the Earth.

“There is nothing like these two supermountains today. It’s not just its height: if you can imagine the 2,400 km long Himalayas repeated three or four times, you have an idea of ​​the scale,” the team said in a statement.

The first recorded case was called Nuna Supermountain and, according to the researchers, coincides with the probable appearance of eukaryotes, organisms that later gave rise to plants and animals.

The second event is known as the Trasgondwanica Supermountain and coincides with the appearance of the first large animals 575 million years ago and the Cambrian explosion 45 million years later.

“The amazing thing is that the entire record of mountain building over time is so clear. It shows these two huge spikes: one is related to the appearance of animals and the other to the large complex cells”, explains Professor Jochen Brocks, one of the authors of the study.

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