Marine sponges (type Porifera) survived the Apocalypse — Devonian mass extinction — almost no decline in species diversity.
A study published by scientists from China and the UK in the journal Current Biology, and briefly about it, reports EurekAlert!
Paleontologists in Zhejiang province, located in the South-East of China, in a narrow band of argillite (hard clay rock) found residues of (soft tissues and skeletons) more than one hundred kinds of ancient sea sponges. The samples, scientists estimate that survived the Devonian period mass extinction.
As scholars have noted, the animal managed to survive due to the high adaptability of sea sponges to temperature. Also, these organisms thrive in oxygen-poor aquatic environment. In addition, the disaster triggered a sharp rise fodder for Porifera.
The Devonian mass extinction occurred about 445 million years ago was accompanied by a decrease in the number of types by 85%. The cause of the incident is considered a sharp change of climate (global cooling followed by sudden warming) that triggered changes in the chemical composition of ancient hydrosphere and atmosphere.