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August 10, 2005

Canada the cradle of life, eh?

Is Canada the cradle of life?
By Michael Kanellos

Meteor showers are usually associated with mass extinctions, but a new study poses that these catastrophic events also created an environment where evolution could bloom.

A study of the Haughton Impact Crater on Devon Island in the Canadian Arctic by the Canadian Space Agency has revealed the presence of a number of features associated with the emergence of microscopic life forms. These include hydrothermal systems and fissures and cracks in rocks created by the blast.

While further study will be necessary, the findings could prod scientists to begin to examine the search for life on this planet or Mars slightly differently.

The Haughton meteor smacked into the icy ground of Devon Island some 23 million years ago. When it hit, it fractured the ground in such a way as to create a series of hydrothermal springs reaching up to 250 degrees Celsius. The heat dropped over the next few thousand years but, ideally, the springs could have served as an incubator for microbes. [...] [CNet]

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Comments

Was Devon Island "icy" 23 million years ago? That might make a difference, in terms of whether or not life could have formed.

Could the proximity of the Burgess Shale be evidence that life first formed at Devon Island, or was there too much time between the meteor shower and the Precambrian era for this to be relevant?

As for one
who has been
on Devon
Isld..
It is one
very cold
place now.
The metor
smack impact
did occur.
So it may
of been as
hot as hell
then.
Great
Creation
Side-Show!
I will go
with the
temperate
forest
theory.
I have seen
the drill
fossil
record
Great forest
of Rock
Trees up
there now.
rtg.

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