Cosmic Origin of Species

Preface

One hundred and sixty-one years ago Charles Darwin published Origin of Species. Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection has withstood the test of time as it has through the epochs of life on planet Earth. Natural selection is the process by which individuals of a species strive to survive and reproduce through traits inherited from parents. Inherited traits are known as the phenotype, the expression of the genetic code passed down by the parents. The genetic code of a species is known as the genotype. In the words of Darwin: “Owing to this struggle for life, any variation, however slight and from whatever cause proceeding, if it be in any degree profitable to an individual of any species, in its infinitely complex relations to other organic beings and to external nature, will tend to the preservation of that individual, and will generally be inherited by its offspring. The offspring, also, will thus have a better chance of surviving, for, of the many individuals of any species which are periodically born, but a small number can survive.” Here we have Darwin’s insight into the individual’s relationship with other beings and mutual influence upon the environment. A phenotype is more than a trait expressed from the genetic code. Traits influence the behavior of other organism and the environment, the community as an ecosystem. As a young man, Darwin made a voyage on the Beagle as a naturalist. On this voyage he observed and wrote in his diary of the adventures to South America, rounding the Horn and landing at the Galapagos islands. He had gone riding on the plains of Argentina and saw strange prehistoric bones of beasts. He argued with Captain Fitzroy about his theories of evolution versus creation. Darwin’s wanderings in the Galapagos stirred up his ideas about the transmutation of species. The variation of finches adapted to specific niches on each island led him to formulate his idea of adaptive evolution. In his words, “that such colonists would be liable to modification;—the principle of inheritance still betraying their original birthplace.” Darwin rejected the principle of a separate creation of finches within the Galapagos. He was making the first step in finding the nature of evolution, that traits can change and modify in response to the environment. Darwin discovered polymorphism of these twenty-five species of finches with variation in beak morphology in a small geographic area. In February of 1865, Gregor Mendel an Augustinian monk  presented his paper, “Experiments on Plant Hybridization” at two meetings of the Natural History Society of Brno. At the time, Darwin would not know of Gregor Mendel’s discovery of genes, dominant and recessive traits that would determine the fate of a species such as peas. His extensive experiments including 28,000 plants with seven different traits would provide Mendel with the laws of genetics.

Chandra Wickramasinghe and Fred Hoyle collaborated on the Hoyle–Wickramasinghe model of panspermia. No DNA or RNA has ever been found on extraterrestrial objects such as meteorites, cosmic dust, or asteroid impact craters. Precursors of life such as amino acids, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and fullerene have been detected in meteorites, asteroid impact craters, cosmic dust and in galactic clouds. As to whether life originates in outer space or on planet Earth is unknown. The discovery of precursors of life in outer space provides the possibility that life may exist outside of planet Earth extending throughout other galaxies. This discovery does not preclude the origination of life on planet Earth even if an extraterrestrial agent is involved in macroevolution. An agent such as C60 fullerene could aid in the recombination of damaged DNA as confirmed in scientific studies. C60 fullerene has been detected in the Magellanic Galactic clouds, Chondraceous Chondrites of Meteors and Asteroids, Asteroid impact zones and a multitude of sites from the Cretaceous Tertiary boundary layer. Macroevolution involves the recombination of genetic alleles from ancestors of similar genus and species succeeded by Natural Selection. The variation of species depends on mutations within the chromosomes of the ancestors. Random mutations from environmental effects on the genome have been proposed as the cause of the variation of species. Experiments to affect these variations by environmental hazards have never been found to result in beneficial mutations. Recently horizontal gene transfer has been found in vertebrates from Diptera, blood sucking insects. The Chicxulub impact destroyed the Ecosystem of the Dinosaurs but provided the agent of recombination to restore life to the survivors. C60 fullerene rained down on the devastated ruin, incorporating in the soil bacteria, fungi and newly emerging plants. Soon after the black clouds disappeared, insects would return to feed on the dying animals and corpses. Animals feeding on the carrion would ingest fullerene and receive a dose of foreign DNA from biting insects. This process would enable survivors of the impacts to generate new species. C60 fullerene recombines DNA and protects animals from UV radiation and toxins. C60 fullerene becomes an agent of origination through the process of Natural Selection.    

                                                                                                                                                Christopher Pett

                                                                                                                                                December 2020

The real cause of recent anthropogenic warming

Methane levels rising leading to very high Global SSTs

It has been endorsed by a consensus of scientists and propagated by the media and governments of many nations that Carbon dioxide is the cause of recent global warming due to mankind’s activities. The simple graph above shows the rise of methane since 1880 with subsequent rise in Global Sea Surface temperatures by year. The correlation of Methane ppb to Global SST is 91%! A correlation of CO2 to Global SST is below 80%. Methane depletes the ozone layer thereby leading to Stratospheric warmings, sea surface temperatures rising and the Ocean releasing CO2. Carbon dioxide does not even begin to rise until after SSTs rise and the Ocean, wetlands and uncovered lands release CO2. This is an ongoing process that commenced during the Devonian age, 400 million years ago. Methane will continue to rise until governments around the world take action instead of preparing for more useless wars. There are measures to be taken such as draining rice paddies after harvest, bringing cattle into shelters at night to gather gases expelled, limit biomass burning, constrain waste fuel releases. Excess carbon dioxide exists because of Ozone depletion and high surface temperatures. Obviously, development of land with little biomass such as forests will lead to higher temperatures. Oil spills in the Ocean will lead to ecosystem destruction and anoxia, leading to more CO2 expelled. Excess CO2 is the best indicator of pollution but it is not a pollutant itself.

References:

Bergamaschi, P., et al. (2013); Bruhwiler, L. M et al (2014); European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC)/Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL). Emission Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGAR), release version 4.0, available at: http://edgar.jrc.ec.europa.eu (last access: May 2014), 2009; Kirschke, Stefanie et al. (2013); S. A. Isaksen et al. (2014); Ferreira, D et al. (2015); Beerling, D. et al. Methane and the CH4-related greenhouse effect over the past 400 million years. American Journal of Science 309, 97–113 (2009); Hansen et al. (1999);

Ice Age Catastrophe

Some 32,365 years ago during the Ice Age, climate was somewhat colder but also extreme. Nevertheless, many species lived through these harsh times and many of the Megafauna would perish in what is known as the Quaternary extinction.

These are a few of the animals that lived through this period including Neanderthals a species of humans who perished before the end of the last Ice Age. Below is a graph indicating the extreme temperatures creatures would have to endure during the Ice Age.

Every decline in temperature is preceded by a negative drop in heavy oxygen isotope 18, a clear marker for a volcanic eruption. (Thiemen et al. 2013) Plate tectonic movements are the driver of climate change of our Vulcan planet. When plates collide in, the upper silicic crust is shaken and cracked by an uplift by an underlying mafic plate. Calderas of large volcanoes collapse, and the heavy masses of snow fall into the crater, rains fall into the crater, hot magma rises and melts the two layers of rocks together in a hydrothermal high energy cavity within the volcano. Huge masses of groundwater are heated up to 1200° Centigrade superheated steam which blast through the plug of the caldera throwing huge boulders, tephra, ash and releasing volatile gases up into the stratosphere in a phreatomagmatic explosion. The meteoritic water (snow, rain, groundwater) depletes the content of δ10O (heavy oxygen isotope 18) and this is the precursor of volcanic eruptions. (Ilya et al 2004) The most active volcanoes during this period are in the peninsula of Kamchatka, the Kurile Islands, the Aleutians and Japan. Other indicator of this event is Carbon isotope 13, depleted carbon from respiration and decay. This tells the story of a layer of dead decomposed animals on the seafloor after an eruption. In order for such sharp drops in temperature to occur, a potent gas must be injected into the stratosphere and be carried by the Jetstream. The Pinatubo eruption was studied for this effect and found that Sulfur dioxide lowered the global temperature by 1°C for three years by the opacity of the dark clouds of sulfuric acid mist and soot. This is a rather small eruption compared to what happened here, as can be seen a 3.72°C drop which occurred over fifty years. This would be on the scale of a super volcanic eruption. Sulfur Dioxide gas released from tephra ash in the atmosphere and pyroclastic magma extruded on the side of the volcano is the primary cause of climate change. Carbon dioxide is released in greater quantities usually ten times as much, it has a greater residence time in the atmosphere, hundreds of years compared to SO2 (few years). But carbon dioxide is absorbed into the waters of the Ocean and plants quickly take it up in photosynthesis. Sulfur dioxide is not beneficial to plants but is combined in the upper atmosphere with OH (hydroxyl ion) to produce sulfuric acid on the condensation nuclei of fine ash particles which fall as acid rain killing forests and phytoplankton. The reduction of OH leads to ozone depletion leading to increasing levels of ultraviolet and cosmic radiation which destroy living tissue and DNA. This graph is only one sample of hundreds of these events occurring during the Ice Age, a time of extreme volcanic activity. This volcanic activity is the cause of the extinction of Neanderthal species and the Megafauna on which they relied upon. Is this any surprise that is the conclusion when you look at this next graph of extreme climate change, that is 3 to 4 degrees Centigrade variances within 50 to 150-year periods. Migration can help animals survive but over time populations dwindle and die off.

A Very Large Release of Sulfur Dioxide during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum

Investigations into assumptions concerning the rapid rise of Carbon dioxide prior to the onset of the PETM and CO2 role in the cause of this hyperthermal warming event and consequent extinction event. First during a volcanic event of a Large Igneous Province (LIP) CO2 would be emitted concurrently along with Sulfur dioxide. Two, the emission of SO2 was for the most part or totally ignored by a number of studies even though it is a much more powerful gas to effect climate change. Since SO2 is usually linked with Global Cooling this could explain this omission. This omission ignores the fact that massive volcanic eruptions are preceded by a decrease in oxygen isotope 18. A record of global surface temperatures, derived from oxygen isotopes (O18) found in deep ice cores of Greenland, shows sudden decreases in negative value of O18 (more O18) within the duration of the PETM. There are six of these episodes that occur simultaneously with spikes in surface temperature. This is a clear indication of a massive volcanic eruption occurring prior to each of these spikes.

In comparison to the Holocene period 10,388 BP to the initial phase of the PETM:

Holocene: Cumulative Magma production: 1968 cubic kilometers/ 10388 years; 0.19 km3/year

PETM 55.0 to 54.8 Ma: 173000 cubic kilometers/187000 years; 0.92 km3/year

PETM 37 times the Holocene output. A magnitude higher in magma production.

PETM sulfur dioxide emissions: 1384 Gigatons/ 187000 years = 0.92MT/year

Holocene: 2052 MT sulfur dioxide/10388 years; 0.2 MT SO2/ year

PETM ~5 times higher in SO2 emissions, one half order of magnitude higher then Holocene

Conclusion: PETM sulfur emissions are Extreme leading to oxidizing capacity of atmosphere to be severely reduced by sulfur combining with hydroxyl ion (OH) and depleting ozone layer. This allows greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, methane to accumulate. Also, the reduction of the ozone layer leads to loss of vegetation and animal species over extensive areas and the desertification of the surface, oxidation of soil, heterotrophic bacteria releasing more carbon dioxide, warming of seawater. Another consequence of the massive volcanic eruptions: devastation of huge areas surrounding the Greenland Iceland Ridge, sulfur dioxide plumes carried on the stratospheric Jetstream and falling out as acid rain, anoxic zones around the area of the eruptions.   

It should be noted that the rifting of the Greenland Iceland Faroe Ridge (GIFR) was a significant part of the North Atlantic Igneous Province that is an ongoing process to this day in Iceland. The onset of the PETM began 55.015 (million years ago) with a negative drop in Oxygen isotope 18 (-29δ18O) indicating a massive shift in crust over batholith within the rift of the GIFR. This massive movement of felsic crust (high O18) over mafic batholith (low O18) resulted in a mixing of rocks above with meteoritic water (low O18) and creating a phreatic explosion of steam, volatile gases releasing huge masses of tephra. The duration of the PETM was 187000 years with a total volume of magma extruded 173000 cubic kilometers in the initial phase of the mass eruption, representing about 1% of the total flow that occurred from 56.1 to 40Ma. The sulfur dioxide emissions from a series of massive eruptions is estimated to be 1384000 MT (megatons). The rate of sulfur dioxide per cubic kilometer magma is calculated as 8MT/km^3. This rate is derived from current rates of volcanic eruptions in Iceland.

At the start of the PETM, the global temperature was 78°F and it took 105000 years to climb to 83.57°F the maximum temperature reached during the entire GIRF. The increase of temperature of three degrees Centigrade may have been significant but the consequences of noxious gases and devastation were far more drastic to the ecosystem. The eruptions occurred in pulses as can be correlated by the sharp drop in heavy Oxygen isotope 18 in the temperature record of the Cenozoic. A large pulse appears on the graph representing 344 GT of Sulfur Dioxide, this would be spread over the period of ~ 1 million years to where the temperature drops. This pulse is equivalent to 25% of the SO2 emissions and 43000 cubic kilometers of dense rock equivalent tephra. A Yellowstone super volcano eruption of 1000 cubic kilometers divided into 43000 km³ could erupt 43 times within this period of 1 million years. In the past million years Yellowstone eruptions of 1000 km³ have occurred twice. Imagine what our world would be like if IT had erupted 43 times in our time.  A hiatus of maybe 10.6 thousand years occurred before another whopping 244000 Megaton pulse struck and the temperature climbed steadily to its maximum extent. Much of the temperature data is derived from Carbon isotope proxies (foraminifera) but that mean CO2 is the culprit for mass extinction? Carbon dioxide usually accompanies SO2 at a much larger rate and it has a much longer residence time in the atmosphere. CO2 correlates very well with temperature but correlation does entail cause. The amount of CO2 in any single eruption would not be enough to bring on a cough. Tephra ash raining down heavy will kill every living thing on the surface and the noxious sulfuric acid laden gas will kill animals and plants. This is evident upon many studies of eruptions like Surtsey off the coast of Iceland. It is also the same region as the GIRF. The initial phase of the GIRF eruptions resulted in Extreme Warming due to the reduction of the oxidizing capacity of the atmosphere and consequent ozone reduction. After 105000 years, the volcanic activity subsided to moderate levels and sulfur dioxide levels resulted in cloud condensation, cloud formation and cooling.

Phanerozoic Climate and Tetrapoda Evolution

Just how does climate over a geologic stage over millions of years affect the diversity, speciation, and extinction rates of Tetrapoda species? What are the driving forces that determine the survival and diversification of species? Predation forces species to adapt new tactics to survive but there has to be enough species to consume for predators to thrive. The diversity of the ecosystem is founded in communities from the bottom of the food web. In this study, large igneous provinces (LIP) are shown to have a strong negative correlation toward origination of species, speciation rates and survivors from these mass extinctions. The primary destructive force on a large regional or even global scale is the emission of huge volumes (thousands of gigatons) of sulfur dioxide. These volcanic events dwarf anything known from human memory. It can be compared to the eruption of a supervolcano such as Yellowstone occurring every year for ten to one hundred years in pulses lasting a million years or more. This devastation brings about the nearly total loss of ozone, a thin layer of oxidized gas that protects all living things on the surface of the land and sea. Sulfur dioxide can also enter the water cycle and cause anoxia along the continental shelf. This noxious gas mixes with water vapor to make sulfuric acid mist in the clouds that darken and shade the land from the warmth of the sun. The Earth below becomes cooler and darker, plants are killed by acid rain, animals starve from lack of food. Those animals that survive the initial onslaught of earthquakes, pyroclastic flows, lava and black rain must live underground in burrows or caves. They dare to scavenge only at night when the burning ultraviolet light is gone. Mass extinction events do not occur frequently but there does appear to be a cycle of 20 million years. The last big event occured in the Columbia River basin fourteen to seven million years ago. It may be that cosmic events such as supernovas are the harbingers of these mass extinctions. There are other major events such as large asteroid impacts that certainly cause catastrophes on a regional and even global scale. In this study only a few such large impacts had a severe negative impact on speciation over a geologic stage. Overall the impact rate of asteroids had a positive impact on speciation in stage where volcanism was low. Ice ages which can last for millions of years and cover large expanses of the continents can also have a negative impact on the survival and diversification of species.

Through the passage of time from the origination of Tetrapods around 360 million years ago to the present time, there are more species today than ever before. The fossil record could be biased due to the facts that fewer fossils are going to be found the further back in time you dig. But the fossil record is consistent in the correlation between speciation rates versus LIP’s (magma volumes) and impact rates. The question remains as to what are the primary factors that drive evolution of species. It has been theorized that adaptive radiation is the factor. Phanerozoic Climate and Tetrapoda Evolutionet a species can’t survive if it’s population is too small. Evolution requires a genome from which to generate new species, it is not spontaneous. Another theory proposes that evolution can occur laterally from species not related to it’s genome. This definitely makes sense since all species are connected via bacteria, fungi networks, phages or even viruses.

But what are the factors that drive the climate of planet Earth through the Phanerozoic era?

Supporting Online Material for

Can it be the Sun that provides nearly all the energy that supplies all life on the planet. The Sun goes through cycles that vary the energy bestowed upon the planet. There are cycles of 11 (sunspots), 26,000(wobble), 41,000(tilt), and ~100,000 years(eccentricity) which brings about ice ages. But all these are shortlived and can not explain evolution in the long term of stages of geologic time. A new theory has arisen to explain how our planet is affected by the Sun’s journey around the Milky Way Galaxy proposed by Nir Shaviv of Hebrew University. As our Sun travels on a ~250 million year trip around the galaxy, it encounters the spiral arms of masses of stars in clusters every 140 million years. Within these clusters, stars are born and stars die resulting in supernovas. Cosmic particles (Cosmic Ray Flux) are ejected at high velocity (close to light speed) into the path of our solar system.  This flux of radiation and subatomic particles (CRF) enters the atmosphere of the Earth for millions of years at this time. CRF are high energy particles which ionize atoms in the atmosphere creating such moieties as Carbon 14, Deuterium and many other radioactive substances. Also, any CRF reaching the surface in intensity can damage DNA and may cause extinction of an affected population. Within the 11 year cycle, the Sun can avert this radiation if it is turbulent (many sunspots), the solar wind will shield the Earth from this radiation. When the Sun is quiet (few sunspots), the solar wind is weak and CRF rains down on the Earth. There is another theory proposed by Professor Svenmark that states CRF will initiate the condensation of clouds and make the Earth cooler. Shaviv, Svensmark and others have devised a theory to show that these galactic cycles bring about the cycle of Ice Ages and warm interglacial periods. This also explains how the Carbon is released from the Ocean during warm periods and is held in the Ocean when it is cold. The Sun is the driving force of climate as it heats up the water which is the primary “greenhouse” gas making up over 90% of gases that absorb radiation from the Sun. There will be more to come to explain the role of Carbon dioxide in climate and life on planet Earth.

Correlation of Tetrapoda and Diptera Evolution

Correlation of Diptera Diversity to Tetrapoda and Diptera Speciation

In the figure above is a diagram of geologic stages from 235my to present on the X axis. On the Y axis, Hdip: Diversity of Diptera, ϴtet:Speciation of Tetrapoda, ϴ1.4dip: Speciation of Diptera. Correl between Diptera diversity/Tetrapoda speciation: 73%. Correl between Diptera diversity/ Diptera speciation: 83%. There is clearly a strong link between the Tetrapoda, a superclass of Chordata and Diptera, an order of Insecta. How can the diversity of an unrelated order of Arthropods be highly correlated to the speciation of Tetrapoda?

I propose a new theory of evolution based on a twofold process of the generation of progeny. In the previous post, it was determined that the Tetrapoda survivors of mass extinctions could not have produced the progeny of the next generation. The Fossil record does indeed show overall similarities in morphology from one stage to the next. However the progeny are unrelated to the survivors.

Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) has been confirmed in scientific studies as noted in the previous post. The primary vector of gene transfer are bloodsucking insects of the Diptera order. The exchange of genetic material from bacteria, plants, protozoa, fungi and phages via Diptera to Tetrapoda hosts is a viable explanation for the survival of species after mass extinctions. The interval between stages is less than a million years so the process of HGT may take thousands of years (hundreds of generations) to pass the fitness test. Natural selection is the process that determines an individual’s fitness within the ecosystem.

Horizontal evolution of Tetrapoda species

A new theory of evolution is needed to explain the appearance of Tetrapoda species after mass extinction events. The Fossil record attests to the fact that few species survive after mass extinctions. It is surprising to note that there is a rapid diversification of species within less than one million years from these few survivors. The mean percentage of survivors/progeny is 2.8 percent. The highest percentage being 9.5, 2 survivors/ 21 progeny. The actual numbers of survivors found in fossil strata are very low indicating a low probability of species survival and fitness within the ecosystem. The progeny succeeding the previous stage (survivors) are not closely related to the survivors. Therefore, vertical descent of the genome is not probable. This chain of events begins 259my (million years ago) to 23 my, consistent in the fossil record.

Recent scientific publications have shown that HGT (horizontal gene transfer) has occurred in various species of Tetrapoda: amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. This astonishing news for evolutionary theory. Genetic material is transferred primarily by insects of the Diptera order, blood sucking insects. The implications are immense. Over thousands of years, this genetic material is incorporated into the DNA of Tetrapoda species from other Kingdoms of bacteria, protozoa, fungi and plants. HGT provides a clue as to how Tetrapoda species not only survive but diversify in the wake of mass extinctions.

There is yet another unknown factor which I will divulge in my next post.

Correlation between Diptera and Tetrapoda Speciation

The speciation of Diptera is closely correlated (74%) with that of corresponding Tetrapoda speciation in geologic stages 235ma to 11.6ma including only these stages with extensive volcanic activity. Diptera speciation(ϴ)/ τ (Asteroid impact frequency) during these stages has Correl of 82%. Tetrapoda speciation/τ correlation: 59%. These results indicate that these orders of animals evolved together and shared genetic material, horizontal gene transfer. Earlier studies claim that such correlation of species indicates coevolution by means of species competing against each other. Recent studies indicate that many mammals share genes with insect species. Diptera species are more influenced (82%) by τ than Tetrapoda species (59%), a difference of 23%. Carbonaceous dust of asteroids contains C60 fullerene, known to intercalate with DNA and enhance recombination. Insects that feed on the blood of mammals can transfer genes to their host from a previous host. These genes may originate from bacteria, fungus, phages or protozoa. Every stage from 235ma to 11.6ma indicates few survivors but many progeny not related to survivors. Ghost lineages are proposed to link an ancestor to these progeny but these lineages de facto are small populations. How can small populations give rise to rapid diversification? Only horizontal gene transfer will suffice to answer this question. Thus the rise of mammals is due to horizontal evolution. Insects may give us disease but in the end, species survive.

 

Insect diversity and the Rise of Mammals

The origination of an order of flies in the middle Triassic period following the Permian extinction, gave rise to the Diptera. This distinct order includes many families of flies such as mosquitoes, gnats, house flies, midges, horse flies, hover flies etc. It is thought flies were primarily pollinators in the Triassic but evolved toward scavenging, predation, decomposition and parasitism. Many are vectors of disease of major epidemiological importance. The evolution of sucking mouthparts enables flies to transmit bacteria, protozoa and DNA from one host to another. Not only do flies transmit disease but they also transfer DNA to those hosts they feed upon. This transfer of DNA can be recombined into the host DNA by means of horizontal gene transfer. Evolution occurs mainly by a horizontal process of an exchange of genetic material across Kingdoms of Bacteria to Mammals. The Ghost lineage that occurs between every fossil strata survives by means of horizontal gene transfer (HGT). The populations of these Ghost lineages are de facto nearly nonexistent because they have not been found. The fact that hundreds of families of Tetrapoda arise after a few survivors within less than million years needs an explanation. It has been found that many mammal lineages have evidence of HGT. Diptera have evolved alongside mammals and developed a relationship that not only fed on their mammal host but provided HGT for mammal survival. There is a strong correlation (63%) between Diptera speciation and Tetrapoda speciation. Within each geologic stage, asteroids fall upon the earth and leave rich carbonaceous material carrying C60 fullerene. C60 is a facilitator of genetic recombination. It is no coincidence that asteroid impact is also strongly correlated with Tetrapoda speciation at each stage. I have the statistics to prove this theory.

Asteroid impact evolution

Survivors of mass extinctions are few. Progeny of these survivors are many. Ghost species must have low population. Rapid diversification occurred after mass extinctions. Lateral gene transfer (LGT) is a mechanism that can explain how hundreds of families of Tetrapoda could arise from a few surviving species. Asteroid impacts result in accumulation of carbon dust upon the surface of the planet. Since most asteroids are carbonaceous in the inner belt of the solar system it is probable that every impact has carbonaceous dust on its surface or within chondrules. Upon impact this carbonaceous dust is released into the atmosphere and upon the surface of the planet. This dust contains C60 fullerene which is a facilitator of LGT. Surviving Tetrapoda that consume fungi, plants, water or animals will accumulate this molecule which will be biomagnified up the food chain. Survivors may consume plants or fungi which serve as vectors for LGT. Together with C60, the vectors of foreign DNA will be available within the survivors to recombine their chromosomes. Natural selection will determine the outcome of this recombination.

It is confirmed in scientific literature that LGT has occurred in many species of Tetrapods recently between 15 to 40 my. “These results strongly indicate that SPIN(DNA transposon families) amplification occurred independently in each of these lineages and that it postdates the radiation of these mammalian orders. Together, these data are inconsistent with a scenario of ancient origin followed by vertical persistence of SPIN activity throughout tetrapod evolution. In addition, several lines of evidence allowed us to rule out that SPIN elements, as a whole, have evolved under purifying selection in the lineages examined. First, neighbor-joining phylogenies of SPIN elements mined from each species revealed a star-like topology indicative of a single burst of transposition followed by accumulation of discrete mutations along each branch.” Pace et al. 2008

Pace, John K et al. “Repeated horizontal transfer of a DNA transposon in mammals and other tetrapods” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America vol. 105,44 (2008): 17023-8.

There are a number of vectors that could facilitate LGT in Tetrapoda, notably phages, plasmids, protozoa and fungi mycellae. The impact of asteroids correlates strongly with speciation rates of Tetrapoda.

The evidence for transposon LGT activity between protozoa and Tetrapoda has been confirmed in a scientific study. “Here we present evidence that host-parasite interactions have promoted the HT of four transposon families between invertebrates and vertebrates. We found that Rhodnius prolixus, a triatomine bug feeding on the blood of diverse tetrapods and vector of the Chagas disease in humans, carries in its genome four distinct transposon families that also invaded the genomes of a diverse, but overlapping, set of tetrapods. The bug transposons are ~98% identical and cluster phylogenetically with those of the opossum and squirrel monkey, two of its preferred mammalian hosts in South America.” Gilbert et al. 2010

Gilbert, Clément et al. “A role for host-parasite interactions in the horizontal transfer of transposons across phyla” Nature vol. 464,7293 (2010): 1347-50.

“Candidate vectors include i. naked DNA or RNA, ii. TEs, iii. viruses, iv. bacteria (e.g., Wolbachia), v. cellular parasites (e.g., trypanosomes), vi. internal parasites (e.g., schistosomes), vii. obligate endoparasitoids (e.g., parasitoid wasps), viii. ectoparasites (e.g., R. prolixus, the blood sucking triatomine bug, which has OC1 copies 95% similar to those found in its preferred host, the opossum [based on Gilbert et al. 2010]). Schaack et al. 2010

Schaack, Sarah et al. “Promiscuous DNA: horizontal transfer of transposable elements and why it matters for eukaryotic evolution” Trends in ecology & evolution vol. 25,9 (2010): 537-46.