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PLANT TIME SCALE - Plant Trivia TimeLine J Folsom ed...

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Plant Trivia TimeLine J. Folsom, ed. WORKING DRAFT The TimeLine gives world history from the viewpoint of a botanist. It is the story of plant discovery and use, and addresses the roles of plants in human civilization. The TimeLine also provides you as an individual the opportunity to reflect on how the history of human interaction with the plant world has shaped and impacted your own life and heritage. Information included comes from secondary sources and compilations, which are cited. We continue to chart events for the TimeLine and appreciate your critique of the many entries as well as suggestions for additions and improvements to the topics covered. Please send comments to: PlantEd, Huntington
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Botanical Gardens, 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA 91108-1299 Telephone 626.405.2160/ FAX 626.405.2260 e-mail : [email protected] .
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BP 5-15 Billion+ 6 December. Carbon (the basis of organic life), oxygen, and other elements were created from hydrogen and helium in the fury of burning supernovae. Having arisen when the stars were formed, the elements of which life is built, and thus we ourselves, might be thought of as stardust. (Dauber & Muller, 1996) 3.75 Billion Mixed deposits of ferrous and ferric oxide suggest the presence of free atmospheric oxygen. This could be construed as evidence for photosynthetic activity. (de Duve, 1995) 3.5 Billion Origination of the oldest dated stromatolites. These layered geological formations are built by successive generations of blue green algae (cyanobacteria.) (de Duve, 1995) Lower Precambrian rocks in South Africa contain what is possibly the earliest known evidence of cellular organisms, resembling blue green algae. (Bold, Alexopoulos, & Delevoryas, 1980) 2 Billion Data suggest that by this time in the history of the Earth molecular oxygen began to make a significant difference in the nature of the atmosphere. (de Duve, 1995) 1.6 Billion Strong evidence indicates that filamentous and unicellular blue green algae existed by this period in the history of the Earth. (Bold, Alexopoulos, & Delevoryas, 1980) 900 Million Late Precambrian deposits at Bitter Springs, Australia, hold numerous kinds of blue-green and green algae. (Bold, Alexopoulos, & Delevoryas, 1980) 570 Million Dawning of the Paleozoic era 395 Million The lower Devonian period. The Scottish Rhynie chert deposit from this period is famous for its excellent representation of Rhynia , one of the earliest vascular plants in the fossil record. By 350 million years BP land plants at last became significant. By the upper Devonian, Calamites (the giant horsetail) achieved abundance (as represented in strata of that age.) We know now that seed bearing plants ( Archaeosperma and Spermolithus ) are represented in upper Devonian deposits. (Bold, Alexopoulos, & Delevoryas, 1980) 345 Million This time marks the beginning of the Mississippian period. Together with the Pennsylvanian which followed (through to 225 million years BP), the two periods constitute the age of coal - often called the Carboniferous.
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136 Million With deposits from the Cretaceous period we see the first evidence of flowering plants.
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