By Michael Anderson

ISBN-10: 1615304983

ISBN-13: 9781615304981

It can be difficult to think that the Earth, with the entire complexity and biodiversity we notice this present day, originated in a cloud of gasoline and dirt. but a lot of the plant and animal lifestyles that turns out so universal now advanced quite lately at the timeline of Earth's lengthy background. The Earth's striking origins are chronicled during this insightful quantity, which additionally examines the prehistoric organisms-from micro organism to dinosaurs-that populated the planet lengthy earlier than people arrived.

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One factor is that at about this time animals developed the ability to form hard parts, such as exoskeletons or shells. These structures are much more easily preserved than the soft parts of creatures. However, it is likely that the actual numbers of animals, and certainly the number of types of animals, increased greatly. Many scientists believe that almost all the large groups called phyla in the animal kingdom appeared at this time. For example, the ancestors of arthropods (such as today’s crabs, spiders, and insects), mollusks (snails, clams, squid), poriferans (sponges), and echinoderms (starfish, sea urchins) are present in Cambrian sediments.

There is evidence of Courtesy of the Cleveland Museum of glaciers in southern Natural History Gondwana late in the period. The Devonian is sometimes called the Age of Fishes, because many new Arctolepis was a small-jawed, armored fish of the early Devonian period. Courtesy of the American Museum of Natural History, New York 39 Investigating the History of Earth kinds, including sharks, appeared. Near the end of this time, tetrapods—four-legged animals likely descended from fish—first appeared on land.

This released between 250,000 and 1 million cubic miles (1 million and 4 million cubic kilometers) of lava, which hardened into basalt. That would have been enough to cover the world in a layer about 6 to 25 feet (about 2 to 8 meters) deep, if the basalt had been spread out evenly. Such an event would likely cause large climate changes and acid rain and disrupt ecosystems. Scientists also believe that oxygen was reduced at the time, to perhaps as little as half its present abundance. It has been suggested that there was a large release of methane that had been trapped underground and under the sea.

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Investigating the History of Earth (Introduction to Earth Science) by Michael Anderson


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