Uncovered here are the 100 groundbreaking discoveries that reveal
why Earth is the one lucky blue planet in our Solar System that can
support life and how this has come about in its myriad forms. The
Material World: clay and quartz, feldspar and diamond, satellite
image of deltaic muds, sandy desert, feldspar crystals, diamond,
crystal, the water cycle, seawater, clouds, glacier ice, volcanic
gas propelling pyroclastic flow. Earth's Engine: computer model of
flow in the core and the magnetic field, major fault zone e.g. San
Andreas or East African Rift; folded rocks in mountains e.g. one of
the alpine 'nappes' or Zagros mountain folds and erupting volcano.
Earth's Changing Face: Earth's oldest rocks (Greenland or Pilbara,
Australia), stromatolites from Western Australia - early marine
rocks, banded iron formation rocks (Australia), snowball Earth
glacial deposits in Namibia, Carboniferous coal deposits with seat
earths in which the plants grew. Living Earth: hydrothermal vent
communities, hot-spring life forms, simple plants e.g. lichens and
mosses and complex ones such as modern flowering plants,
domesticated plants and animals. Past Life: 3.2 billion year old
acritarch spores from South Africa, fossil red algae (Bangiomorpha)
and first evidence for sexual reproduction, Cooksonia (first true
land plant). Life Evolves: the Ediacaran explosion in late
Precambrian times, the Cenozoic explosion of mammals, insects and
flowering plants, the human family bursts upon the scene,
trilobites slowly evolve, the end of the Palaeozoic world 251
million years ago, the end of the Mesozoic world 65 million years
ago. Earth's Future: computer simulations of future plate
positions, what the world will look like with changing sealevel,
artists impressions of future evolutionary adaptations.
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