Expansion of the Marine Archaea

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Science  06 Jul 2001:
Vol. 293, Issue 5527, pp. 56-57
DOI: 10.1126/science.1063491

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One group of the Archaea (ancient bacteria) began life inhabiting the hyperthermal vents of the oceans but then suddenly expanded to more temperate ocean niches during the Cretaceous. In a Perspective, Smith discusses new work ( Kuypers et al.) pinpointing the exact time of this archaeal expansion within the mid-Cretaceous, and the changing conditions in the ocean that contributed to this expansion.