Since the big bang 13.8 billion years ago, stars, planets, nebulae and other celestial bodies and materials have been born. Among the many things born, the birth of life is undoubtedly the most magical and mysterious, and also the biggest mystery in the universe.
The earth is a planet of life, as early as billions of years ago, there have been simple life. We don’t know how these lives originated, how they came into being. Since mankind entered the era of science and technology, the exploration and research of life has always been a puzzle for countless people: chicken or egg?
I believe many people have often heard that people are discussing this topic. Some people say that chickens are the first to lay eggs, while others say that chickens are the first to hatch. So which one is normal? For thousands of years, there has been no definite answer to the mystery of life. However, recently, experts from Nanjing Institute of Geology and paleontology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, found a kind of fossils named “longjiqiu” in the Weng’an Biota, a 610 million year old specially buried fossil bank in Guizhou Province. The discovery of this fossil has revealed the mystery of chicken and egg. What’s the matter?
I believe many friends know that the evolution and evolution of life on earth is a long process. Single cell life first appeared, then single cell life evolved into multi cell life, and finally more complex animals appeared. But scientists have always been curious about when and how animal space originated, trying to uncover the mystery.
The modern animal kingdom includes more than 30 phyla, and studies have shown that they have a common ancestor about 700 million years ago. This common ancestor is composed of multicellular cells with functional differentiation. It evolved from the older single cell ancestor. When and how did single cell ancestors evolve into multicellular ancestors? This question is like “first egg or first chicken”, there has been no definite answer.
The only way to solve this mystery is to discover about 700 million years old fossil. Only through some discovery and exploration of fossil can we solve the mystery of the evolution from single cell ancestor to multi cell ancestor, the mystery of the origin of animals, and finally find the answer of “chicken or egg first”.
Although many ancient fossils have been found on the earth, the fossils about 700 million years old are not so easy to find. Perhaps nature took care of us, and we found an ancient fossil group 610 million years ago. This paleofossil group is called Weng’an Biota. It is located in Qiannan Buyi and Miao Autonomous Prefecture in the middle of Guizhou Province. There is a small town called Weng’an, which is famous for its rich phosphate rock resources and known as “Asian phosphorus warehouse”.
Since the 1980s, more and more people have come here to mine phosphate rock. In the process of mining, many strange fossils have been excavated one after another. This attracted the attention of paleontologists. In 1998, paleontologists discovered a number of unique fossils of adult animals and embryos in the Ediacaran strata of Weng’an, and Weng’an Biota began to become famous internationally. Weng’an Biota is an important window for scientists all over the world to study the early evolution of multicellular eukaryotes.
As early as 2000, scientists took back some of the ancient fossils found here for research. However, most of the cell structures of the cage ridged ball fossils found at that time were not well preserved, so they were not noticed at first. Moreover, there was no more advanced equipment at that time, and no important mystery was found in these ancient fossils.
By 2015, researchers have reconstructed the three-dimensional structure of hundreds of cage balls using the most advanced ultra-high resolution synchrotron radiation three-dimensional non-destructive imaging technology, just like doctors do CT scanning for patients. With the help of advanced equipment, the life in these 610 million year old cage ridged ball fossils reappear their style.
These cage ridged balls can be seen under an advanced microscope in their rolling spherical shape. Inside there is a delicate multicellular structure, outside is a complete capsule, there are two layers of envelope, the inner membrane is thinner, the outer membrane is thicker, inside is a multicellular body. Different fossil specimens represent different developmental stages of multicellular life.
By studying the discovery of the cage ridgeball 610 million years ago, scientists have finally found out the answer of “chicken or egg first”. At this time, I believe many people have already known the final answer, that is, eggs first. This “egg” is a complex embryonic development mechanism, which appeared as early as 610 million years ago. With the development of this “egg”, the “chicken” was finally born, and the “chicken” gave birth to more chickens by cultivating eggs.
Thus, we have uncovered an important mystery in the history of life and the tip of the iceberg in the evolution history of mysterious life. Of course, there are many mysteries about life. The evolution from single cell to multi cell is just one of them. And more and more mysteries, we still haven’t solved. For example, how was the first single cell life born? How does the birth and evolution of life proceed? How does simple life evolve into intelligent life step by step?
It’s not easy to solve these mysteries. It was once proposed that human beings can now produce powerful nuclear weapons, but they can’t create a grain of rice. In fact, it is true. A grain of rice seems simple, but when you enter its micro world, you will find that the internal structure of a grain of rice is very complex. We can’t create a grain of rice without solving the mystery of its internal life.
The evolution of animals is more complex and mysterious than that of plants. The mysteries of life may also be one of the ultimate mysteries of the universe. When human beings really uncover the mysteries of life and can create life, they may not be far away from fully revealing the mysteries of the universe. At that time, human beings may have been a powerful divine civilization, which could not only create life, but also celestial bodies, and even the universe at last. We are looking forward to that day.
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