Washington, Mar 16: Meteorite impacts that resulted in the extinction of dinosaurs from the face of the Earth, might have been the reason behind creation of the first complex multicellular creatures.
A new study conducted by the Natural History museum of Denmark, discovered that new and varied forms of life evolved in the oceans, which were then home to virtually all life on Earth, during the Ordovician period 490-440 million years ago when more than 100 meteorites struck the planet, according to the journal Science. Biological evolution experienced a serious boost within a relatively short period of time. And with volcanic erruptions and large forest fires, the impacts initially had a devastating effect on all life, but from the ashes arose a much richer fauna than had existed previously, the researchers said.
''This situation occurred 40 million years after the so-called Cambrian explosion. It was during this explosion that the first complex multicellular creatures appeared,'' Dave Harper, an author of the study said.
The study by the two palaeontologists, Svend Stouge and Dave Harper is based on computer analyses, chemical samples from meteorites, fossils and examination of different craters in Sweden, like the large Lockne crater near Ostersund in northern Sweden, which has a diameter of 7.5 km.
The researchers have also found meteorites with the same chemical composition as those they studied in Sweden. '' We will be studying craters and meteorites in China and in the US to establish whether it was a global phenomenon,'' they said.
So far, our research has shown that it was a regional phenomenon around Baltica, the Baltic Sea of that time, they added.