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

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At the single cellular creatures existed on the planet for millions of years, they eventually became multicellular in the form of sponges, which existing in the water that have been full of waste, they began to filter the water, so it became cleaner and gave up enough waste products and they became the most abundant source of life on the planet. Ein Paläontologe wie Gee blickt anders auf Zeiträume als andere Menschen, er denkt in Zeitreihen, die mehrere Millionen Jahre umfassen.

Man kann sich geradezu die hochgezogene Augenbrauc des Autors vorstellen, während er Betrachtungen über die faszinierenden Wesen anstellt, die die Erde einst bevölkert haben und immer noch Nachfahren haben, die auf der Erde leben - nur, wie lange noch?

The other half is full to the brim with incredible facts, mind blowing information and a really entertaining read. to give you an idea of the time length of the dinosaurs walked on this planet, there is a greater distancing time between the rise and demise of a Stegosaurus and the rise and end of the Tyrannosaurus Rex as there is between Tyrannosaurus rex and humans first emerge. As cells evolved into more complex lifeforms, the earliest known signs of multicellular life forms are around 2,100 million years ago. Of course, a small book such as this will not, in any way, exhaustively cover any of the topics or lifeforms contained within.

I use a musical term intentionally - this feels like a well-crafted piece of music, pushing us on to the big finish. The photosynthesis of water produces as a waste product a colorless, odorless gas that burns anything it touches.

Mit der Mischung aus unterhaltsam und aufklärerisch, einem Ton leichten Understatements ist dieses Sachbuch im besten Sinne sehr britisch. Unlike carbon dioxide, oxygen might be thought of as an all-round good thing, essential to life on Earth. Gee begins the last chapter of this hugely enjoyable page-turner by modifying a line from Tolstoy: ‘All happy, thriving species are the same. 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). Well, I don't want to spoil it too much, but he goes into if the Earth continues on its trend that it has for all time, likely we humans won't see some of the truly big cataclysmic events (definitely not in my lifetime anyway).

billion years of evolution on Earth, as are all the other living beings that occupy the planet today.

Or the beautiful description of the land-dwelling amphibian Eryops 'which looked like a bullfrog imagining itself as an alligator. I must admit I had never heard of the Lystrosaurus, an animal with ‘the body of a pig, the uncompromising attitude towards food of a golden retriever, and the head of an electric can opener’ – and yet, for millions of years after the End-Permian mass extinction (yes, another one), nine out of every ten animals on Earth was a Lystrosaurus. This became the nucleus of the cell—the cell’s library, repository of genetic information, its memory, and its heritage.

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