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OriginsThe Search for Our Prehistoric Past$
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Frank H. T. Rhodes

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781501702440

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501702440.001.0001

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The Greening of the Land

The Greening of the Land

(p.107) 7 The Greening of the Land

Frank H. T. Rhodes

Cornell University Press

This chapter points out the impact of plant life on both the evolution of animals and the development of the planet. In particular, the chapter focuses on land plants and their development from green, filamentous algae to their slow emergence and colonization of the land, thus making possible the subsequent evolution of terrestrial animals and the softening of the harsh contours of the planet. The chapter searches for the earliest indications of plant life by identifying the direct and indirect indications of photosynthesis, before it turns to a discussion on the reproductive capacities of these plants as they evolved from their aquatic ancestors—particularly the seed-bearing varieties.

Keywords:   plants, plant life, land plants, seed-bearing plants, algae, photosynthesis, plant reproduction, plant evolution

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