We’ve all studied the evolution of man and of animals. But very little of the evolution of plants gets covered. Normally I wouldn’t think much about this. Then last July as I was researching the 3,500 million year old cyanobacteria that was refusing to be eradicated from my fish tank I began to wonder about plants and their evolution. So for Sept I’ll be covering each step along the way. At least as much as I was able to find out.
There have been 5 major extinctions of life on earth, late Ordovician (438 million years ago ), late Devonian ( 360 million years back), End of Permian ( 245 million years back ), late Triassic ( 208 million years back) and at the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary about ( 65 million years back ). Through each extinction some plants failed and some survived making it to our world today.
Plant evolution has been much simpler than animal with three main periods. The first was when plants first tread slowly onto land eventually leaving the safety of the oceans about 400 million years ago. The second big leap in plant evolution was around 350 million years ago when some plants discovered the ability to create seeds. The final ( so far ) leap was about 130 million years ago when flowering plants arrived.
Plants have a big survival over animal life in that they can breed sexually or asexually.
There is a series of 13 articles following this one, each covering a different time period.
Evolution of plants