10亿年前的海藻化石表明,海藻比我们之前认为的要早2亿年
Billion-year-old seaweed fossil suggests algae is 200 million years older than we previously thought

Billion-year-old seaweed fossil suggests algae is 200 million years older than we previously thought

10亿年前的海藻化石表明,海藻比我们之前认为的要早2亿年

10亿年前的海藻化石被认为是发现的最古老的绿藻。

研究人员说,它们也可能与最早在4.5亿年前出现的陆地植物和树木的祖先有关。

这种微小的海藻化石,是一种被称为古Proterocladus的藻类,只有2毫米长,肉眼几乎看不见。

这些标本被印在岩石上,这些岩石取自中国北方辽宁省大连市附近的一片旱地,这里曾经是海洋。

这一发现发表在《自然生态与进化》杂志上,在此之前,在岩石中发现的最早的令人信服的绿色海藻化石记录可以追溯到大约8亿年前。

美国弗吉尼亚理工大学的肖树海教授说:“这些新发现的化石表明,早在海藻的陆生后代迁移并控制陆地之前,它们就已经是海洋中的重要生物了。”

“整个生物圈主要依靠植物和藻类提供食物和氧气,而陆地植物直到大约4.5亿年前才进化出来。

“我们的研究表明,绿色海藻的进化不晚于10亿年前,将绿色海藻的历史记录推后了大约2亿年。”

他补充说,目前的假设是,像树、草和粮食作物这样的陆地植物,是从绿色的海藻水生植物进化而来的。

“这些化石与我们今天看到的所有现代陆生植物的祖先有关,”肖教授说。

然而,并不是所有的地球生物学家都同意绿色植物的起源,有些人认为它们在征服海洋之前就起源于河流和湖泊。

研究人员认为,这些小海藻曾生活在浅海中,死后在厚厚的沉淀物下“煮熟”,保持了它们的形状。

根据科学家的说法,这些海藻的多分枝、直立生长和特化细胞表明,化石是一种大约有10亿年历史的绿色海藻。

读者问答:植物和种子,谁先出现?

问:亚当·金,哈德斯菲尔德

最早的复杂陆地植物化石可以追溯到大约4.7亿年前。它们就像一种简单的苔类植物,通过释放孢子来繁殖,而这些孢子在下雨时就被带走了。

孢子包含一个单细胞,而种子包含一个多细胞受精的胚胎,它被一层坚硬的外壳保护着,不会变干。这些额外的特征又花了1.5亿年才进化出来,在此基础上出现了第一批有种子的植物。所以植物是第一位的。

One-billion-year-old seaweed fossils are believed to be the oldest green algae discovered.

They could also be related to the ancestor of the earliest land plants and trees that first developed 450 million years ago, researchers say.

The micro-fossil seaweeds, a form of algae known as Proterocladus antiquus, are hardly visible to the naked eye, at 2mm in length.

The specimens were imprinted in rock taken from an area of dry land near the city of Dalian in the Liaoning Province of northern China, which used to be ocean.

Before the discovery, published in the Nature Ecology and Evolution journal, the earliest convincing fossil records of green seaweeds were found in rock dated at about 800 million years old.

Professor Shuhai Xiao of Virginia Tech university in the US, said: "These new fossils suggest that green seaweeds were important players in the ocean long before their land-plant descendants moved and took control of dry land.

"The entire biosphere is largely dependent on plants and algae for food and oxygen, yet land plants did not evolve until about 450 million years ago.

"Our study shows that green seaweeds evolved no later than one billion years ago, pushing back the record of green seaweeds by about 200 million years."

He added that the current hypothesis is that land plants like trees, grasses and food crops, evolved from green seaweeds aquatic plants.

"These fossils are related to the ancestors of all the modern land plants we see today," Prof Xiao said.

However, not all geobiologists agree on the origins of green plants, with some suggesting they started in rivers and lakes, before conquering the ocean.

The researchers suggest the tiny seaweeds once lived in a shallow ocean, died and then became "cooked" under a thick pile of sediment, preserving their shape.

According to the scientists, the seaweeds' multiple branches, upright growth and specialised cells suggest the fossil is a green seaweed that is about one billion years old.

Reader Q&A: Which came first, the plant or the seed?

Asked by: Adam King, Huddersfield

The earliest fossils of complex land plants date from around 470 million years ago. They resembled liverworts a kind of simple moss and reproduced by releasing spores, which were carried away when it rained.

Spores contain a single cell, whereas a seed contains a multicellular, fertilised embryo that is protected from drying out by a tough coat. These extra features took another 150 million years to evolve, whereupon the first seed-bearing plants emerged. So plants came first, by a long way.

One-billion-year-old seaweed fossils are believed to be the oldest green algae discovered.

10亿年前的海藻化石被认为是发现的最古老的绿藻。

They could also be related to the ancestor of the earliest land plants and trees that first developed 450 million years ago, researchers say.

研究人员说,它们也可能与最早在4.5亿年前出现的陆地植物和树木的祖先有关。

The micro-fossil seaweeds, a form of algae known as Proterocladus antiquus, are hardly visible to the naked eye, at 2mm in length.

这种微小的海藻化石,是一种被称为古Proterocladus的藻类,只有2毫米长,肉眼几乎看不见。

The specimens were imprinted in rock taken from an area of dry land near the city of Dalian in the Liaoning Province of northern China, which used to be ocean.

这些标本被印在岩石上,这些岩石取自中国北方辽宁省大连市附近的一片旱地,这里曾经是海洋。

Before the discovery, published in the Nature Ecology and Evolution journal, the earliest convincing fossil records of green seaweeds were found in rock dated at about 800 million years old.

这一发现发表在《自然生态与进化》杂志上,在此之前,在岩石中发现的最早的令人信服的绿色海藻化石记录可以追溯到大约8亿年前。

Professor Shuhai Xiao of Virginia Tech university in the US, said: "These new fossils suggest that green seaweeds were important players in the ocean long before their land-plant descendants moved and took control of dry land.

美国弗吉尼亚理工大学的肖树海教授说:“这些新发现的化石表明,早在海藻的陆生后代迁移并控制陆地之前,它们就已经是海洋中的重要生物了。”

"The entire biosphere is largely dependent on plants and algae for food and oxygen, yet land plants did not evolve until about 450 million years ago.

“整个生物圈主要依靠植物和藻类提供食物和氧气,而陆地植物直到大约4.5亿年前才进化出来。

"Our study shows that green seaweeds evolved no later than one billion years ago, pushing back the record of green seaweeds by about 200 million years."

“我们的研究表明,绿色海藻的进化不晚于10亿年前,将绿色海藻的历史记录推后了大约2亿年。”

He added that the current hypothesis is that land plants like trees, grasses and food crops, evolved from green seaweeds aquatic plants.

他补充说,目前的假设是,像树、草和粮食作物这样的陆地植物,是从绿色的海藻水生植物进化而来的。

"These fossils are related to the ancestors of all the modern land plants we see today," Prof Xiao said.

“这些化石与我们今天看到的所有现代陆生植物的祖先有关,”肖教授说。

However, not all geobiologists agree on the origins of green plants, with some suggesting they started in rivers and lakes, before conquering the ocean.

然而,并不是所有的地球生物学家都同意绿色植物的起源,有些人认为它们在征服海洋之前就起源于河流和湖泊。

The researchers suggest the tiny seaweeds once lived in a shallow ocean, died and then became "cooked" under a thick pile of sediment, preserving their shape.

研究人员认为,这些小海藻曾生活在浅海中,死后在厚厚的沉淀物下“煮熟”,保持了它们的形状。

According to the scientists, the seaweeds' multiple branches, upright growth and specialised cells suggest the fossil is a green seaweed that is about one billion years old.

根据科学家的说法,这些海藻的多分枝、直立生长和特化细胞表明,化石是一种大约有10亿年历史的绿色海藻。

Reader Q&A: Which came first, the plant or the seed?

读者问答:植物和种子,谁先出现?

Asked by: Adam King, Huddersfield

问:亚当·金,哈德斯菲尔德

The earliest fossils of complex land plants date from around 470 million years ago. They resembled liverworts a kind of simple moss and reproduced by releasing spores, which were carried away when it rained.

最早的复杂陆地植物化石可以追溯到大约4.7亿年前。它们就像一种简单的苔类植物,通过释放孢子来繁殖,而这些孢子在下雨时就被带走了。

Spores contain a single cell, whereas a seed contains a multicellular, fertilised embryo that is protected from drying out by a tough coat. These extra features took another 150 million years to evolve, whereupon the first seed-bearing plants emerged. So plants came first, by a long way.

孢子包含一个单细胞,而种子包含一个多细胞受精的胚胎,它被一层坚硬的外壳保护着,不会变干。这些额外的特征又花了1.5亿年才进化出来,在此基础上出现了第一批有种子的植物。所以植物是第一位的。