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How fecal matter spurred evolution?

Forwarded from the Skeptic list-TWC-:
Date:    28/10/1995 1:22 PM

        As a non-expert but longtime observer of the human race, I've
long had a sneaking suspicion in the back of my head that something 
similar to the following was responsible for what we see around us 
today. :)
        Just received my copy of the December issue of Earth magazine
and was rather intrigued by this statement on the front cover:-
        "How fecal matter spurred evolution"
The article on page 21 was entitled "Excrement and evolution" and des- 
cribes a study at the University of Indiana as the latest attempt to 
explain the Cambrian explosion of life forms.

I won't go into the involved explanation, but the team headed by 
geochemist John Hayes proposes that the rain of animal fecal pellets 
transformed the biochemical machinery of the oceans and greatly 
accelerated the ongoing emergence of animal life on Earth.

Any one have more knowledge/data/opinions on this?

Needless to say, I'm fascinated.


                 < Bruno Wroblewski  <bwroblew@mail.orion.org>
                          Illegitimi non carborundum