Ancient air bubbles could revise history of Earth’s oxygen

If new findings are correct, rise in gas preceded earliest animals

air bubbles in a rock

NOT-SO-FRESH AIR  Ancient air embedded inside rock salt for 815 million years suggests that oxygen was already abundant when the first animals appeared. The microscopic air bubbles were trapped inside rectangular inclusions (one circled in red) in the rock.

Chris Lecuyer

This article is only available to Science News subscribers.

Subscribers, enter your e-mail address to access our archives.

Not a subscriber?

Science News is a nonprofit.

Support us by subscribing now.

More Stories from Science News on Earth

From the Nature Index

Paid Content