Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience Senior Writer
Date: 29 April 2013 Time: 03:00 PM ET

earthKids like to taunt each other with the cry, “Last one there is a rotten egg!” In Earth’s case, that might be more true of the first ones there, according to a new study suggesting that millions of years ago, the planet emanated such a stench.

The research, published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, findsfossil evidence of microbessnacking on other microbes, a form of feeding called heterotrophy. Heterotrophs can’t make their own organic nutrients, so they have to eat other life forms. This is in contrast with autotrophs (think plants), which can synthesize their own food from sunlight or inorganic chemicals.

Continue Reading…