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Tech & Science Earth's oldest biological colour discovered in rocks beneath Sahara Desert

03:30  10 july  2018
03:30  10 july  2018 Source:   abc.net.au

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The discovery of the world’ s oldest biological colour could help explain why it took four billion years for animal life to form on Earth . They were extracted from rocks that were discovered buried deep beneath the Sahara Desert in Africa and were taken from marine black shales of the Taoudeni Basin.

The world' s oldest biological pigment could help answer some major questions about how life came to be on Earth .

The molecular fossils were originally green and are bright pink when diluted.© Provided by ABC News The molecular fossils were originally green and are bright pink when diluted.

The discovery of the world's oldest biological colour could help explain why it took 4 billion years for animal life to form on Earth.

International research led by the Australian National University (ANU) has resulted in the discovery of a 1.1-billion-year-old colour — the oldest in geological record.

It is more than 500 million years older than previous pigment discoveries.

The molecular fossils were originally green, but range from blood red to deep purple in their concentrated form, and are bright pink when diluted.

Scientists find 'world's oldest' biological colours

  Scientists find 'world's oldest' biological colours Australian researchers have uncovered the world's oldest biological colour in the Sahara desert, in a find they said Tuesday helped explain why complex lifeforms only recently emerged on earth. The pink pigments were produced by simple microscopic organisms called cyanobacteria more than 1.1 billion years ago, some 500 million years older than previous colour pigment discoveries.That makes the samples around "fifteen times older" than the Tyrannosaurus Rex dinosaur species, according to senior Australian National University researcher Jochen Brocks.Earth itself is about 4.

A team of international scientists led by researchers from Australia found the oldest color in Earth ’ s geological record. The ancient pigment found in rocks beneath the Sahara desert could be ten times older than the T-rex.

Pigments found in 1.1bn-year- old rocks beneath the Sahara desert shed light on ‘major puzzle’ about early life.

They were extracted from rocks that were discovered buried deep beneath the Sahara Desert in Africa and were taken from marine black shales of the Taoudeni Basin in Mauritania.

The rocks were crushed in powder before extracting molecules from them with organic solvents to produce oil.

The oil they found was pink.

Pink is the world's oldest color

  Pink is the world's oldest color Earth may be known as the Blue Planet now, but evidence suggests that back in the day, it was probably pink. Earth may be known as the Blue Planet now, but evidence suggests that back in the day, it was probably pink.

Scientists have discovered the oldest intact biological colors on Earth , according An international team led by researchers from the Australian National University (ANU) extracted 1.1-billion-year- old bright pink pigments from ancient rocks deep below the Sahara Desert in Mauritania, West Africa.

Geek.com reports that scientists have discovered the oldest colors in geological record. Bright pink shades were extracted from rocks deep beneath Africa’ s

How can this be the world's oldest colour?

Everything has a colour and colours go back to the beginning of time.

What these researchers have found is the oldest physical colour — a biological pigment. It is a molecule that had a biological colour more than a billion years ago and still has one today.

One of the researchers said it was like finding dinosaur fossils that still kept the colour of the animal.

"Imagine you would find fossilised dinosaur skin that after 100 million years was still iridescent green or blue," Jochen Brocks, an associate professor at ANU, said.

"Then you really would have a colour and that's what we found — only that the molecules that we found are 10 times older than a T-rex would have been."

How did this affect evolution?

Earth is 4.543 billion years old, but complex life forms did not form on the planet until 600 million years ago.

So why did it take 4 billion years for larger creatures to appear?

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Life on Earth evolved almost as soon as the planet cooled, but animals didn't arrive until more than 3 billion years later. Astonishingly, among the black she found some pink highlights, something never before seen for rocks this old .

SYDNEY. – An international team of scientists discovered the oldest colour in the geological record in rocks beneath the Sahara desert : the bright pink pigment aged 1.1 billion years old .

At first, scientists thought it had to do with a lack of oxygen, but it turns out that may not be the case.

"The pigments that we found tell us a different story — they tell us that we are probably lacking food," Associate Professor Brocks said.

Analysis of the pigments confirmed that tiny cyanobacteria used to dominate the base of the food chains in the oceans.

The pigments found were produced by photosynthetic organisms that inhabited an ancient ocean.

"These pink pigments, their exact structure and composition tells us there was an efficient energy food source missing at the base of the food web," he said.

The limited supply of larger food particles is likely the reason it took so long for larger creatures to emerge.

But when the ocean disappeared around 650 million years ago, algae, which is a much richer food source for bigger organisms, was able to spread faster.

"[It provided] the burst of energy needed for the evolution of complex ecosystems, where large animals, including humans, could thrive on Earth," he said.

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