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The Evolution of Plants - Part 1

In the Beginning...

The evolution of plants on earth is a fascinating story. We take so much for granted often regarding our natural world. We have absolutely no idea how important plants are!  They are responsible for the very air we breathe and evolutionary leaps spanning millions of years to create this amazingly beautiful planet with the food, the flowers, the animals that nourish us today. The human story cannot be separated from this story. WE are a part of NATURE'S story.   Without them, there IS no life!  I have always loved sharing what I find fascinating.  So... please realize I am not a scientist, but I am delighted to share what I've learned FROM scientists with you!


Once upon a time, 3 billion years ago, our planet, our home, would have been an alien world. The air consisted of toxic gases, no oxygen to breathe. Ultra violet light could not be filtered out because there was no stratosphere. Our planet seen from space at that time would have had oceans that appeared purple! Purple bacteria populated the oceans. There was one big continent but the land consisted of rocks, no soil and was lifeless. Water that covered the rest of the planet acted as a liquid sun screen.  Interestingly, those purple bacteria only used part of the light from our sun. BELOW, as the light was filtered, other bacteria had to live off the light that was left over. In the light spectrum, that light would be green. This is where the story of plants begins.


 Our Alien Earth...

These green bacteria called Cyanobacteria, were the ancestors of all plants. They only absorbed one color, dominated the water of the world and reflected green light. They produced oxygen which the purple bacteria could not do.



The process of producing oxygen, photosynthesis, became the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT EVENT changing the entire atmosphere of earth and setting the stage for all life to evolve. Oxygen interacted with iron oxide in the rocks and released even more oxygen into the air creating a flood, an oxygen event, leaving the sky blue and a planet surrounded by a protective oxygen layer. This layer now acted as the filter for ultraviolet light and allowed migration of life from water to land.  



NEXT - Part 2 - The Migration

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