Images of the unevolved bacteria (Credit: UCLA Center for the Study of Evolution and the Origin of Life)
Scientists have found a tiny organism that hasn’t evolved in over two billion years, according to release from the University of California, Los Angeles. The research team found that the 1.8 million year old sulfur bacteria harvested from the Australian coast were identical to 2.3 million year old bacteria sampled from the same area, as well modern sulfur bacteria from the coast of Chile.
The bacteria’s lack of evolution appeared to present a challenge to Darwin’s theory of evolution. However, the researchers say the bacteria’s existence actually supports evolution. Evolution takes place in response to organisms’ need to adapt to a changing environment, according to Darwin’s theory. The scientists conclude the inverse would also be true and still support evolution.
Top image: Images of the unevolved bacteria (Credit: UCLA Center for the Study of Evolution and the Origin of Life)