If Past Life on Mars Existed, It Co-evolved with the Martian EnvironmentDecember 19, 2017 / Posted by: Miki Huynh
In a new article published in Astrobiology, Nathalie Cabrol, Director of the Carl Sagan Center for Research at the SETI Institute and PI for the NASA Astrobiology Institute team at SETI, puts forth a proposition about possible past life on Mars. She suggests that just as environmental change and biological evolution are linked in a process known as coevolution on Earth, so too would have been the case on Mars, if indeed life existed there at one time. In addition, because of the unique environmental conditions on Mars—notably the collapse of its atmosphere—life would have evolved differently on Mars than it did on Earth.
“Environmental changes accompany biological changes, either as causes or as effects. This is what we call coevolution” said Cabrol. “If there was ever life on Mars, finding biosignatures will require to us envision the terms of a Martian coevolution, and not only follow the terrestrial analogy principle.”
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