Q:

When did plant life begin to appear on Earth?

A:

Quick Answer

Plant life first appeared on land during the Ordovician period, between 495 and 443 million years BCE. One 2001 study from Penn State University claims that plants and fungi first appeared on land 700 million years BCE, but this has not yet become accepted by the larger scientific community.

Know More
When did plant life begin to appear on Earth?
Credit: De Agostini Editorial De Agostini Getty Images

Full Answer

Though plants first moved onto the land during the Ordovician period, plant life had already appeared in the oceans some time earlier than this. Single-celled plant organisms appeared over 2 billion years BCE, and multicellular algae, the ancestors of modern plants, appeared as early as 1 billion years BCE. It was not until the Carboniferous period that plant life expanded from the coastlines and edges of lakes and began to more fully resemble modern plants.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    How did the Earth begin?

    A:

    Scientists agree that the Earth formed about 4.6 billion years ago out of accreted matter from the solar nebula. All planets in the solar system formed the same way. Once the proto-Earth was formed, many changes occurred over vast timescales to produce the Earth of the 21st century.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    When did dinosaurs first appear?

    A:

    The first true dinosaurs first appeared about 230 million years ago. The first dinosaur fossils are distinguished from those of their reptile ancestors by their more upright stance, with legs directly beneath the body instead of splayed to the side, as with other reptiles. The earliest dinosaur fossils were found in South America, although a December 2012 fossil discovery in southern Africa casts some doubt on a South American origin.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why is the Earth tilted?

    A:

    Astronomers theorize that over 4.5 billion years ago, Theia, an object about the size of Mars, collided with Earth to create a tilted axis. This is called "the giant impact theory." Prior to this event, the axis was straight at 180 degrees.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why is the ocean salty?

    A:

    As rain is formed in the atmosphere, it absorbs carbon dioxide, making it slightly acidic when it falls on the land. This rain physically and chemically erodes the rock and carries various minerals and salts as it runs off into the ocean.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore