News of the WeekGeochemistry

A Shot of Oxygen to Unleash the Evolution of Animals

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Science  08 Dec 2006:
Vol. 314, Issue 5805, pp. 1529
DOI: 10.1126/science.314.5805.1529

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In two papers published this week, one of which appears online in Science (, researchers present geochemical and isotopic evidence that substantial amounts of oxygen first reached the deep sea 580 million years ago, just 5 million years before macroscopic animals make their debut in the fossil record. (Read more.)