For the first time multicellular found deep underground - on Mars are possible complex forms of life! PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 03 June 2011 05:39


As reported by well-known scientific magazine «Nature», a team, led by Gaetan Borgonie from the University of Ghent and Tullis Onstott of Princeton University, spent biological research in a number of gold mines in South Africa.

As a result of research at depths more than 1 kilometer were found four types of local nematode worms. One species of worms was named Halicephalobus mephisto, it represents a body length of 0.5 millimeters, living at a depth of 1.3 kilometers, where very little oxygen and temperatures of around 40 degrees Celsius, which is much higher, than can bear the majority of similar organisms, which living on the surface.

All of the identified four types of local worms eat the bacterias, that grow where the rocks contain cracks, which collects water, which, as established of researchers, not just infiltrated from the surface, as the radiocarbon analysis indicated its age at least 3,000 years .

Nematodes, or roundworms (Latin Nematoda, Nematodes) – are the type of worms. Currently, described about 80,000 species of nematodes, but the estimates of real diversity, based on the rate of description of new species (in particular, specialized parasitic insects), suggest the existence of about a million species. Free-living nematodes live in salt and fresh water and soil. The class of nematodes is characterized by these common biological traits - traits of biological progress. We do not know of such habitats, which would not have nematodes. Seabed and ocean from the northern to the southern pole (this can be said with certainty) populated a huge number of species and individuals of nematodes. Free-living nematodes are known strongly everywhere, at all points of the seabed that have undergone special studies. Having won the bottom of the seas and oceans, nematodes penetrated, probably later in the brackish waters.

Therefore, a very large number of nematode species inhabit the bottom of the brackish-water basins, including in estuaries - the arches of the rivers flowing into the sea. A number of facts indicating that, in ancient history class nematodes come such an important stage of development when they began to penetrate into fresh water, and eventually many of free-living nematodes colonized river. Later nematodes made another important step of historical development, they penetrated into the soil and water are the components of soil fauna - a complex of soil ecological communities. From the above we can see, that all the habitats of our planet, all the medium of life, probably almost all multicellular animals and all plants were the habitat of nematodes. This phenomenon shows us one of the most striking examples of biological progress. The total number of nematode species are currently not yet clear science. Well-known American expert on nematode N. Cobb believed, that the total number of species of nematodes - a free and parasitic - approaching one million.

Among the nematodes are very small forms. One of them - Trichoderma minntum - reaches only 80 microns in length. These minor forms are known in the seas and in the soil, where there are nematode length of 200-300 microns. But along with these microscopic forms of known real giants of the world nematodes.

Raised to the surface and cultured in the laboratory, nematodes grew much better in that case, when they fed on bacteria, raised from a deep, rather than any other, indicating that a stable ecosystem, formed deep underground. Uniqueness and the underground origin of the data types supported by genetic analysis of worms. The researchers conducted a study of thoUSAnds of gallons of water in the mines at different depths, and analyzed the nematodes in the soil near mines, but a new species of nematodes were found only at depths greater than 1 kilometer-detected nematodes are able to live a long time at such great depths.

This discovery revolutionized all previous concepts of the possibilities and forms of biological life, as he said Tullis Onstott: "... the opening of multicellular creatures with nervous, digestive and reproductive systems, so deep underground, is equivalent to the detection of freshwater whale in Lake Ontario." Before this discovery it was believed, that under the earth can live only one-celled organisms as well as high temperature, lack of oxygen and free space, scientists believe, eliminates the possibility of here is more complex multicellular organisms.

Researchers in an article in the magazine «Nature» emphasize, that their discovery shows that these multi-cellular organisms can be found in other environments, oxygen-poor, which allows temperature,for example- in the depths of Mars, where there are same conditions, as in Earth's depths. As said Gaetan Borgonie: "... it is very likely, that life exists on Mars in more complex forms, than we can imagine."

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