Evolutionary history of life

Prehistoric lifeevolutionary historyhistory of lifeColonization of landon landevolution of lifeprehistoric Earthanimalsgeological timeHistory of evolution
The evolutionary history of life on Earth traces the processes by which living and fossil organisms evolved, from the earliest emergence of life to the present.wikipedia
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Metabolism

metabolicmetabolizedmetabolic pathways
The evolution of photosynthesis, around 3.5 Ga, eventually led to a buildup of its waste product, oxygen, in the atmosphere, leading to the great oxygenation event, beginning around 2.4 Ga. The earliest evidence of eukaryotes (complex cells with organelles) dates from 1.85 Ga, and while they may have been present earlier, their diversification accelerated when they started using oxygen in their metabolism.
These similarities in metabolic pathways are likely due to their early appearance in evolutionary history, and their retention because of their efficacy.

Photosynthesis

photosyntheticphotosynthesizephotosynthesizing
The evolution of photosynthesis, around 3.5 Ga, eventually led to a buildup of its waste product, oxygen, in the atmosphere, leading to the great oxygenation event, beginning around 2.4 Ga. The earliest evidence of eukaryotes (complex cells with organelles) dates from 1.85 Ga, and while they may have been present earlier, their diversification accelerated when they started using oxygen in their metabolism.
The first photosynthetic organisms probably evolved early in the evolutionary history of life and most likely used reducing agents such as hydrogen or hydrogen sulfide, rather than water, as sources of electrons.

RNA world

RNA world hypothesisorganisms based on RNAancestral world of RNA
These ribozymes could have formed an RNA world in which there were individuals but no species, as mutations and horizontal gene transfers would have meant that the offspring in each generation were quite likely to have different genomes from those that their parents started with.
The RNA world is a hypothetical stage in the evolutionary history of life on Earth, in which self-replicating RNA molecules proliferated before the evolution of DNA and proteins.

Oxygen

OO 2 molecular oxygen
The evolution of photosynthesis, around 3.5 Ga, eventually led to a buildup of its waste product, oxygen, in the atmosphere, leading to the great oxygenation event, beginning around 2.4 Ga. The earliest evidence of eukaryotes (complex cells with organelles) dates from 1.85 Ga, and while they may have been present earlier, their diversification accelerated when they started using oxygen in their metabolism.
Oxygen is damaging to obligately anaerobic organisms, which were the dominant form of early life on Earth until began to accumulate in the atmosphere about 2.5 billion years ago during the Great Oxygenation Event, about a billion years after the first appearance of these organisms.

Evolution of biological complexity

Evolution of complexitycomplexityhigher organism
For the sake of brevity, this article focuses on the organisms that show the greatest specialization of cells and variety of cell types, although this approach to the evolution of biological complexity could be regarded as "rather anthropocentric."
Although there has been an increase in the maximum level of complexity over the history of life, there has always been a large majority of small and simple organisms and the most common level of complexity appears to have remained relatively constant.

Evolution

evolvedtheory of evolutionevolutionary
) The similarities among all known present-day species indicate that they have diverged through the process of evolution from a common ancestor.
Existing patterns of biodiversity have been shaped by repeated formations of new species (speciation), changes within species (anagenesis) and loss of species (extinction) throughout the evolutionary history of life on Earth.

Ordovician

Ordovician PeriodMiddle OrdovicianLate Ordovician
The earliest complex land plants date back to around 850 Ma, from carbon isotopes in Precambrian rocks, while algae-like multicellular land plants are dated back even to about 1 billion years ago, although evidence suggests that microorganisms formed the earliest terrestrial ecosystems, at least 2.7 Ga. Microorganisms are thought to have paved the way for the inception of land plants in the Ordovician.
The first evidence of land plants also appeared (see evolutionary history of life).

Fungus

Fungifungalnecrotrophic
A diverse collection of fossil algae were found in rocks dated between 1.5 and 1.4 Ga. The earliest known fossils of fungi date from 1.43 Ga.
In contrast to plants and animals, the early fossil record of the fungi is meager.

Western Australia

WAWestern AustralianWest Australia
In May 2017, evidence of the earliest known life on land may have been found in 3.48-billion-year-old geyserite and other related mineral deposits (often found around hot springs and geysers) uncovered in the Pilbara Craton of Western Australia.
In May 2017, evidence of the earliest known life on land may have been found in 3.48-billion-year-old geyserite and other related mineral deposits (often found around hot springs and geysers) uncovered in the Pilbara craton.

Mars

MartianCoordinatesplanet Mars
There are three main versions of the "seeded from elsewhere" hypothesis: from elsewhere in our Solar System via fragments knocked into space by a large meteor impact, in which case the most credible sources are Mars and Venus; by alien visitors, possibly as a result of accidental contamination by microorganisms that they brought with them; and from outside the Solar System but by natural means.
In May 2017, evidence of the earliest known life on land on Earth may have been found in 3.48-billion-year-old geyserite and other related mineral deposits (often found around hot springs and geysers) uncovered in the Pilbara Craton of Western Australia.

Terrestrial ecosystem

terrestrialterrestrial ecosystemsterrestrial environment
The earliest complex land plants date back to around 850 Ma, from carbon isotopes in Precambrian rocks, while algae-like multicellular land plants are dated back even to about 1 billion years ago, although evidence suggests that microorganisms formed the earliest terrestrial ecosystems, at least 2.7 Ga. Microorganisms are thought to have paved the way for the inception of land plants in the Ordovician.

Solar System

outer Solar Systeminner Solar Systemouter planets
Evidence from the Moon indicates that from 4 to 3.8 Ga it suffered a Late Heavy Bombardment by debris that was left over from the formation of the Solar System, and the Earth should have experienced an even heavier bombardment due to its stronger gravity.
The Solar System's location in the Milky Way is a factor in the evolutionary history of life on Earth.

Dinosaur

dinosaursDinosaurianon-avian dinosaurs
During the recovery from this catastrophe, archosaurs became the most abundant land vertebrates; one archosaur group, the dinosaurs, dominated the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.

Trace fossil

Ichnologytrace fossilsichnofossil
However, some earlier trace fossils from the Cambrian-Ordovician boundary about are interpreted as the tracks of large amphibious arthropods on coastal sand dunes, and may have been made by euthycarcinoids, which are thought to be evolutionary "aunts" of myriapods.
Trace fossils provide us with indirect evidence of life in the past, such as the footprints, tracks, burrows, borings, and feces left behind by animals, rather than the preserved remains of the body of the actual animal itself.

Pilbara Craton

Apex ChertPilbaraEastern Pilbara
In May 2017, evidence of the earliest known life on land may have been found in 3.48-billion-year-old geyserite and other related mineral deposits (often found around hot springs and geysers) uncovered in the Pilbara Craton of Western Australia.
In May 2017, evidence of the earliest known life on land may have been found in 3.48-billion-year-old geyserite and other related mineral deposits (often found around hot springs and geysers) uncovered in the Pilbara Craton.

History of evolutionary thought

evolutionary theoryevolutionevolutionary thought
Paleontology and comparative anatomy allowed more detailed reconstructions of the evolutionary history of life.

Geyserite

siliceous sintersintercone
In May 2017, evidence of the earliest known life on land may have been found in 3.48-billion-year-old geyserite and other related mineral deposits (often found around hot springs and geysers) uncovered in the Pilbara Craton of Western Australia.
In May 2017, evidence of the earliest known life on land may have been found in 3.48-billion-year-old geyserite uncovered in the Pilbara Craton of Western Australia.

Francevillian biota

Francevillian Group FossilGaboniontaFrancevillian
The Francevillian biota fossils, dated to 2.1 Ga, are the earliest known fossil organisms that are clearly multicellular.

Earliest known life forms

earliest known lifeearliest evidenceearly life on Earth
In May 2017, evidence of the earliest known life on land may have been found in 3.48-billion-year-old geyserite and other related mineral deposits (often found around hot springs and geysers) uncovered in the Pilbara Craton of Western Australia.
In May 2017, evidence of microbial life on land may have been found in 3.48 billion-year-old geyserite in the Pilbara Craton of Western Australia.

Evolutionary history of plants

Evolution of plantsKNOXplants
It has been argued that in the late Neoproterozoic sheet wash was a dominant process of erosion of surface material due to the lack of plants on land.

Archipolypoda

The oldest known air-breathing animal is Pneumodesmus, an archipolypodan millipede from the Middle Silurian, about.

Myriapoda

myriapodmyriapodsMyriopoda
However, some earlier trace fossils from the Cambrian-Ordovician boundary about are interpreted as the tracks of large amphibious arthropods on coastal sand dunes, and may have been made by euthycarcinoids, which are thought to be evolutionary "aunts" of myriapods.

Tetrapod

tetrapodsTetrapodaland vertebrates
Family tree of tetrapods

Labyrinthodontia

labyrinthodontlabyrinthodontsamphibians
The early groups are grouped together as Labyrinthodontia.

On the Origin of Species

The Origin of SpeciesOrigin of SpeciesOn the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection
Their ambitious programme to reconstruct the evolutionary history of life was joined by Huxley and supported by discoveries in palaeontology.