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A (Very) Short History of Life On Earth: 4.6 Billion Years in 12 Chapters

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Less dense materials such as aluminum, silicon, and oxygen combine into a light froth of rocks near the surface. If a bacterium doesn’t have a resistance gene for a particular antibiotic, it can pick it up from the genetic free-for-all of other species with which it shares its environment. It does, however, give a very approachable overview of the subject, and with an extensive source list, and further reading list within, it also gives the reader next steps if they wish to drill down on any one topic.

It consumes an awful lot of energy that if it is not required, birds will eventually lose this skill. This book examines life as we know it so far, from its earliest theorized state, with cells beginning to cooperate and form more complex structures, to the advent of single cell, and multicellular life, and its slow evolution into more complex and specialized forms.

On the downside I did have to spend time looking up illustrations of at least some of the creatures - not always possible as my laptop was not always at hand. When the supply of available hydrogen began to run low, the star began to fuse helium into atoms of heavier elements such as carbon and oxygen. The dinosaurs disappeared 65 million years ago -- and that's like yesterday in the scheme of things.

His earlier title The Accidental Species was a superbly readable and fascinating description of the evolutionary process leading to Homo sapiens. Some of the science that is decidedly speculative is stated as if it were fact (for example, the Theia hypothesis for the formation of the Earth/Moon system). For the first 2 billion years in the Earth’s story, the most sophisticated form of life was built on the bacterial cell. billion years ago, spreading from the permanent dark of the ocean depth to the sunlight surface waters. Although it doesn't relieve us of the responsibility for doing better now so that current conditions stay relatively sane.COMPLEX LIFE FORMS: 2 billion years ago, small colonies of bacteria began to adapt the habit of living inside a common membrane. Definitely check this one out if you were bored with your school textbooks but still wanted to learn about the history of Earth. Viewed from the kind of wide-angle perspective that Gee opens up, our human presence looks vanishingly insignificant. A brief history of life on Earth by Henry Gee is a short history of life on earth, concise but wonderfully told.

From that first foray to the spread of early hominids who later became Homo sapiens , life has persisted, undaunted. Millions of years later, the gravitational shock wave of the supernova explosion passed through a cloud of gas, dust, and ice. Life on this planet has continued in much the same way for millennia, adapting to literally every conceivable setback that living organisms could encounter and thriving, from these humblest beginnings to the thrilling and unlikely story of ourselves.And yet it was a sudden surge of free oxygen that caused the Great Oxidation Event, unleashing the first of many mass extinctions that pepper the history of this planet. At the highest level of the temporal hierarchy are the 'eons' (I think this would be 'aeons' to the classicists).

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