Evolutionary biology Intelligent Design

At Phys.org: Discovery of new microscopic species expands the tree of life

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Scientists have discovered several very rare species of microorganisms, some of which have never been seen before and others which have escaped the curious eyes of scientists for over a hundred years.

Discovery of new microscopic species expands the tree of life
Legendrea loyezae with trailing tentacles. Credit: Bournemouth University

Microorganisms are made up of only one cell and are at the bottom of the food chain. They live all around us and can be found in any habitat, from small puddles to vast oceans; there is still a great deal to discover about them.

“Biodiversity at a microscopic level is not as widely understood as other areas of nature, despite the fact that whole ecosystems depend on it,” explained Professor Esteban.

“Some of these species are completely new and others have not been seen for over a century. We documented many curious behaviours on them and carried out DNA analysis of them for the first time.

“This means we can understand more about their relationships with other microbes and find new branches for them on the tree of life,” Professor Esteban continued.

“Most organisms on the tree of life are microscopic. In fact, most life on Earth has always been microscopic. Microorganisms were the first predators on Earth, their greedy appetites were one of the leading factors of the evolution of more complex life in the early ages of Earth,” Weiss explained.

“As prey developed better defences, predators needed to develop better ways of catching them. After the evolution of multicellular, complex life they became the main food source for others such as krill and plankton, which in turn are food for larger species. If the organisms at the very bottom were removed, all other parts of the food chain above them would collapse too,” he added.

“As with all forms of wildlife spotting, the more you look, the more you find. By taking so many samples, almost every day, we knew we could find something new. The more we know about the microscopic world, the more we can learn about the rest of their habitats where all other forms of life survive.”

Complete article at Phys.org.

The just-so evolutionary bedtime story rattled off in this article is presented without scientific evidence, and one could say, in spite of the evidence. The complex, information-rich biochemistry of complex life cannot arise just because a microbe has a “greedy appetite.”

2 Replies to “At Phys.org: Discovery of new microscopic species expands the tree of life

  1. 1
    Sir Giles says:

    Ciliates are amazing creatures. Like bacteria, they can reproduce asexually, producing two identical clones. However, unlike bacteria, they can only do this for a finite number of generations after which the entire lineage “grows old” and dies.

    But, they can also undergo meiosis and reproduce sexually, producing progeny that are not clones of either parent. This resets the clock. But that’s not all. They also have a fallback strategy that can be used if a mate is not handy. Some can undergo autogamy, which is akin to sexual reproduction without the messiness of a mate. They undergo meiosis, including all of the inherent reshuffling, inversions, translocations etc, and then the DNA recombines to form an individual that is different than the original. This resets the clock and it can continue to reproduce by fission. So, the next time someone tells you to go f yourself, just tell them that you prefer to leave that to ciliates.

  2. 2
    relatd says:

    Poor logic. Another bad article. An example of this sort of thinking.

    I am the first single celled organism and I live in a warm pool of water. Somehow, don’t ask me how, I can differentiate between food and other particles floating by. I also begin to reproduce. Don’t ask me how, it just happens, somehow. I suddenly realize that there are no other organisms around that can eat me so, before you know it, me and my offspring are eating everything in sight. In a relatively short time, we’ve eaten everything. We die of starvation. Our remains stay near the surface, decompose, and end up on the bottom. There are no more living things on Earth. The End.

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