Development_of_Life_3

Development_of_Life_3 - Development of Life Development of...

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Development of Lif Development of Life (continued – again) Stephen Eikenberry 07 September 2010 AST 2037 1
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Cambrian “Explosion” Note the rapid growth in size from a cell, to a few cells (~3 GY); from a few cells to animals (~0.05 GY); from animals to large animals (~0.01 GY) Over only a few million years (versus BILLIONS before) every currently recognized phylum of life on Earth developed in the Cambrian explosion (!) 2
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The Cambrian Explosion Initially, at least, land was still totally barren No trees, no plants, no critters, no evidence of bacterial life on land either The sea, on the other hand, was teeming with life! 3
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What Enabled the Cambrian Explosion? O 2 levels jumped to nearly “modern” right before the Cambrian explosion All modern animals are O 2 breathers Perhaps the O 2 increase enabled a dramatic increase in diversity/size of diversity/size of animals 4
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K-T Extinction Species extincted included: Almost ALL large vertebrates on land (dinosaurs, etc.) Most species of plankton and reef-dwelling animals
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Development_of_Life_3 - Development of Life Development of...

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