The Cambrian Period was the first geological period of the Paleozoic Era, of the Phanerozoic Eon. The Cambrian lasted 55.6 million years from the end of the preceding Ediacaran Period 541 million years ago to the beginning of the Ordovician Period 485.4 mya and its subdivisions, and its base, are somewhat in flux. The period was established by Adam Sedgwick, who named it after Cambria, the Latinised form of Cymru, the Welsh name for Wales, as a result, our understanding of the Cambrian biology surpasses that of some periods. The rapid diversification of lifeforms in the Cambrian, known as the Cambrian explosion, most of the continents were probably dry and rocky due to a lack of vegetation. Shallow seas flanked the margins of several continents created during the breakup of the supercontinent Pannotia, the seas were relatively warm, and polar ice was absent for much of the period. The United States Federal Geographic Data Committee uses a barred capital C ⟨Є⟩ character similar to the capital letter Ukrainian Ye ⟨Є⟩ to represent the Cambrian Period, the proper Unicode character is U+A792 Ꞓ LATIN CAPITAL LETTER C WITH BAR.
Despite the long recognition of its distinction from younger Ordovician Period rocks and older Supereon Precambrian rocks, the base of the Cambrian lies atop a complex assemblage of trace fossils known as the Treptichnus pedum assemblage. Pedum in Namibia and Newfoundland, and possibly, in the western USA, the stratigraphic range of T. pedum overlaps the range of the Ediacaran fossils in Namibia, and probably in Spain. The Cambrian Period followed the Ediacaran Period and was followed by the Ordovician Period, the Cambrian is divided into four epochs and ten ages. Currently only two series and five stages are named and have a GSSP, because the international stratigraphic subdivision is not yet complete, many local subdivisions are still widely used. In some of these subdivisions the Cambrian is divided into three epochs with locally differing names – the Early Cambrian, Middle Cambrian and Furongian, rocks of these epochs are referred to as belonging to the Lower, Middle, or Upper Cambrian.
Trilobite zones allow biostratigraphic correlation in the Cambrian, each of the local epochs is divided into several stages. The International Commission on Stratigraphy list the Cambrian period as beginning at 541 million years ago, the lower boundary of the Cambrian was originally held to represent the first appearance of complex life, represented by trilobites. The recognition of small shelly fossils before the first trilobites, and Ediacara biota substantially earlier and this formal designation allowed radiometric dates to be obtained from samples across the globe that corresponded to the base of the Cambrian. Early dates of 570 million years ago quickly gained favour, though the used to obtain this number are now considered to be unsuitable. A more precise date using modern radiometric dating yield a date of 541 ±0.3 million years ago, most continental land was clustered in the Southern Hemisphere at this time, but was drifting north. Large, high-velocity rotational movement of Gondwana appears to have occurred in the Early Cambrian, the sea levels fluctuated somewhat, suggesting there were ice ages, associated with pulses of expansion and contraction of a south polar ice cap.
In Baltoscandia a Lower Cambrian transgression transformed large swathes of the Sub-Cambrian peneplain into a epicontinental sea, the Earth was generally cold during the early Cambrian, probably due to the ancient continent of Gondwana covering the South Pole and cutting off polar ocean currents
Evolutionary history of plants
The ascendance of flowering plants over gymnosperms in terrestrial environments. Evidence for the appearance of the first land plants occurs in the Ordovician, around 450 million years ago and this chert, formed in volcanic hot springs, preserved several species of early plants in cellular detail by petrification. By the middle of the Devonian, many of the features recognised in plants today were present, including roots, Late Devonian free-sporing plants such as Archaeopteris had secondary vascular tissue that produced wood and had formed forests of tall trees. Also by late Devonian, Elkinsia, an early seed fern, had evolved seeds, evolutionary innovation continued into the Carboniferous and is still ongoing today. Most plant groups were relatively unscathed by the Permo-Triassic extinction event and this may have set the scene for the appearance of the flowering plants in the Triassic, and their diversification in the Cretaceous and Paleogene. The latest major group of plants to evolve were the grasses, the grasses, as well as many other groups, evolved new mechanisms of metabolism to survive the low CO2 and warm, dry conditions of the tropics over the last 10 million years.
Land plants evolved from a group of algae, perhaps as early as 510 million years ago, some molecular estimates place their origin even earlier. Co-operative interactions with fungi may have helped early plants adapt to the stresses of the terrestrial realm and these organisms, although phylogenetically diverse, were probably small and simple, forming little more than an algal scum. The first evidence of plants on land comes from spores of mid-Ordovician age and their walls contain sporopollenin – further evidence of an embryophytic affinity. It could be that atmospheric poisoning prevented eukaryotes from colonising the land prior to this, trilete spores similar to those of vascular plants appear soon afterwards, in Upper Ordovician rocks. Depending exactly when the tetrad splits, each of the four spores may bear a trilete mark, this requires that the spore walls be sturdy and resistant at an early stage. This resistance is associated with having a desiccation-resistant outer wall—a trait only of use when spores must survive out of water.
Indeed, even those embryophytes that have returned to the lack a resistant wall. The earliest megafossils of land plants were thalloid organisms, which dwelt in fluvial wetlands and are found to have covered most of an early Silurian flood plain and they could only survive when the land was waterlogged. Once plants had reached the land, there were two approaches to dealing with desiccation, the bryophytes avoid it or give in to it, restricting their ranges to moist settings, or drying out and putting their metabolism on hold until more water arrives. Tracheophytes developed vascular tissue to aid in the movement of water within the organisms, vascular tissue facilitated upright growth without the support of water and paved the way for the evolution of larger plants on land. The establishment of a land-based flora caused increased accumulation of oxygen in the atmosphere, when this concentration rose above 13%, wildfires became possible. This is first recorded in the early Silurian fossil record by charcoalified plant fossils, apart from a controversial gap in the Late Devonian, charcoal is present ever since
The Paleozoic Era is the earliest of three geologic eras of the Phanerozoic Eon, from 541 to 252.17 million years ago. It is the longest of the Phanerozoic eras, and is subdivided into six periods, the Cambrian, Silurian, Carboniferous. The Paleozoic comes after the Neoproterozoic era of the Proterozoic and is followed by the Mesozoic, the Paleozoic was a time of dramatic geological and evolutionary change. The Cambrian witnessed the most rapid and widespread diversification of life in Earths history, known as the Cambrian explosion, arthropods, anapsids, synapsids and diapsids all evolved during the Paleozoic. Life began in the ocean but eventually transitioned onto land, and by the late Paleozoic, Great forests of primitive plants covered the continents, many of which formed the coal beds of Europe and eastern North America. Towards the end of the era, sophisticated diapsids and synapsids were dominant, the Paleozoic Era ended with the largest extinction event in the history of Earth, the Permian–Triassic extinction event.
The effects of this catastrophe were so devastating that it took life on land 30 million years into the Mesozoic Era to recover, recovery of life in the sea may have been much faster. The Paleozoic era began and ended with supercontinents and in between were the rise of mountains along the margins, and flooding and draining of shallow seas between. At its start, the supercontinent Pannotia broke up, paleoclimatic studies and evidence of glaciers indicate that central Africa was most likely in the polar regions during the early Paleozoic. During the early Paleozoic, the huge continent Gondwana formed or was forming, by mid-Paleozoic, the collision of North America and Europe produced the Acadian-Caledonian uplifts, and a subduction plate uplifted eastern Australia. There are six periods in the Paleozoic Era, Ordovician, Devonian, the Cambrian spans from 541 million years to 485 million years and is the first period of the Paleozoic era of the Phanerozoic. The Cambrian marked a boom in evolution in an event known as the Cambrian explosion in which the largest number of creatures evolved in any period of the history of the Earth.
Creatures like algae evolved, but the most ubiquitous of that period were the armored arthropods, almost all marine phyla evolved in this period. During this time, the supercontinent Pannotia begins to break up, the Ordovician spanned from 485 million years to 443 million years ago. The Ordovician is a time in Earths history in many of the biological classes still prevalent today evolved, such as primitive fish, cephalopods. The most common forms of life, were trilobites, more importantly, the first arthropods went ashore to colonize the empty continent of Gondwana. By the end of the Ordovican, Gondwana was at the pole, early North America had collided with Europe. Glaciation of Africa resulted in a drop in sea level
Geology is an earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which they change over time. Geology can refer generally to the study of the features of any terrestrial planet. Geology gives insight into the history of the Earth by providing the evidence for plate tectonics, the evolutionary history of life. Geology plays a role in engineering and is a major academic discipline. The majority of data comes from research on solid Earth materials. These typically fall into one of two categories and unconsolidated material, the majority of research in geology is associated with the study of rock, as rock provides the primary record of the majority of the geologic history of the Earth. There are three types of rock, igneous and metamorphic. The rock cycle is an important concept in geology which illustrates the relationships between three types of rock, and magma. When a rock crystallizes from melt, it is an igneous rock, the sedimentary rock can be subsequently turned into a metamorphic rock due to heat and pressure and is weathered, eroded and lithified, ultimately becoming a sedimentary rock.
Sedimentary rock may be re-eroded and redeposited, and metamorphic rock may undergo additional metamorphism, all three types of rocks may be re-melted, when this happens, a new magma is formed, from which an igneous rock may once again crystallize. Geologists study unlithified material which typically comes from more recent deposits and these materials are superficial deposits which lie above the bedrock. Because of this, the study of material is often known as Quaternary geology. This includes the study of sediment and soils, including studies in geomorphology and this theory is supported by several types of observations, including seafloor spreading, and the global distribution of mountain terrain and seismicity. This coupling between rigid plates moving on the surface of the Earth and the mantle is called plate tectonics. The development of plate tectonics provided a basis for many observations of the solid Earth. Long linear regions of geologic features could be explained as plate boundaries, mid-ocean ridges, high regions on the seafloor where hydrothermal vents and volcanoes exist, were explained as divergent boundaries, where two plates move apart.
Arcs of volcanoes and earthquakes were explained as convergent boundaries, where one plate subducts under another, transform boundaries, such as the San Andreas Fault system, resulted in widespread powerful earthquakes. Plate tectonics provided a mechanism for Alfred Wegeners theory of continental drift and they provided a driving force for crustal deformation, and a new setting for the observations of structural geology
A unicellular organism, known as a single-celled organism, is an organism that consists of only one cell, unlike a multicellular organism that consists of more than one cell. Historically, simple unicellular organisms have been referred to as monads, though this term is used more specifically to describe organisms of the genus Monas. The main groups of organisms are bacteria, protozoa, unicellular algae. Unicellular organisms fall into two categories, prokaryotic organisms and eukaryotic organisms. Unicellular organisms are thought to be the oldest form of life, most Protista, and some fungi are unicellular. Although some of these live in colonies, they dont exhibit specialization. These organisms live together, and each cell in the colony is the same, each individual cell must carry out all life processes to survive. In contrast, even the simplest multicellular organisms have cells that depend on each other to survive, most multicellular organisms have a unicellular life-cycle stage. Gametes, for example, are reproductive unicells for multicellular organisms, multicellularity appears to have evolved independently many times in the history of life.
Some organisms are partially uni- and multicellular, like Dictyostelium discoideum, unicellular organisms can be multinucleate, like Myxogastria and Plasmodium. Candidatus Magnetoglobus multicellular, related to Deltaproteobacteria, is a multicellular prokaryote and it is neither unicellular, nor a colony. Primitive cells, often referred to as protocells, are the precursors to todays unicellular organisms, the RNA world hypothesis assumes that RNA molecules could form in abiotic conditions, which would require nucleic acids and ribose to be present. Theoretical and experimental findings show that nucleic acids and sugars could have been synthesized in early prebiotic conditions, compartmentalization was necessary for chemical reactions to be more likely as well as to differentiate reactions with the external environment. For example, an early RNA replicator ribozyme may have replicated other replicator ribozymes of different RNA sequences if not kept separate, when amphiphiles like lipids are placed in water, the hydrophobic tails aggregate to form micelles and vesicles, with the hydrophilic ends facing outwards.
Primitive cells likely used self-assembling fatty-acid vesicles to separate chemical reactions, because of their simplicity and ability to self-assemble in water, its likely that these simple membranes predated other forms of early biological molecules. Prokaryotes lack membrane-bound organelles, such as mitochondria or a nucleus, most prokaryotes have an irregular region that contains DNA, known as the nucleoid. Most prokaryotes have a single, circular chromosome, which is in contrast to eukaryotes, prokaryotes have the ability to utilize a wide range of organic and inorganic material for use in metabolism, including sulfur, ammonia, or nitrite. Prokaryotes as a whole are ubiquitous in the environment and exist in extreme environments as well, bacteria are one of the world’s oldest forms of life, and are found virtually everywhere in nature
The Devonian is a geologic period and system of the Paleozoic, spanning 60 million years from the end of the Silurian,419.2 million years ago, to the beginning of the Carboniferous,358.9 Mya. It is named after Devon, where rocks from this period were first studied, the first significant adaptive radiation of life on dry land occurred during the Devonian. Free-sporing vascular plants began to spread across dry land, forming extensive forests which covered the continents, by the middle of the Devonian, several groups of plants had evolved leaves and true roots, and by the end of the period the first seed-bearing plants appeared. Various terrestrial arthropods became well-established, Fish reached substantial diversity during this time, leading the Devonian to often be dubbed the Age of Fish. The first ray-finned and lobe-finned bony fish appeared, while the placodermi began dominating almost every aquatic environment. The ancestors of all four-limbed vertebrates began adapting to walking on land, as their strong pectoral, in the oceans, primitive sharks became more numerous than in the Silurian and Late Ordovician.
The first ammonites, species of molluscs, trilobites, the mollusk-like brachiopods and the great coral reefs, were still common. The Late Devonian extinction which started about 375 million years ago severely affected marine life, killing off all placodermi, and all trilobites, save for a few species of the order Proetida. The palaeogeography was dominated by the supercontinent of Gondwana to the south, the continent of Siberia to the north, while the rock beds that define the start and end of the Devonian period are well identified, the exact dates are uncertain. According to the International Commission on Stratigraphy, the Devonian extends from the end of the Silurian 419.2 Mya, another common term is Age of the Fishes, referring to the evolution of several major groups of fish that took place during the period. Older literature on the Anglo-Welsh basin divides it into the Downtonian, Dittonian and Farlovian stages, in the Late Devonian, by contrast, arid conditions were less prevalent across the world and temperate climates were more common.
The Devonian Period is formally broken into Early and Late subdivisions, the rocks corresponding to those epochs are referred to as belonging to the Lower and Upper parts of the Devonian System. Early Devonian The Early Devonian lasted from 419.2 ±2.8 to 393.3 ±2.5 and began with the Lochkovian stage, which lasted until the Pragian. It spanned from 410.8 ±2.8 to 407.6 ±2.5, and was followed by the Emsian, which lasted until the Middle Devonian began,393. 3±2.7 million years ago. Middle Devonian The Middle Devonian comprised two subdivisions, first the Eifelian, which gave way to the Givetian 387. 7±2.7 million years ago. Late Devonian Finally, the Late Devonian started with the Frasnian,382.7 ±2.8 to 372.2 ±2.5, during which the first forests took shape on land. The first tetrapods appeared in the record in the ensuing Famennian subdivision. This lasted until the end of the Devonian,358. 9±2.5 million years ago, the Devonian was a relatively warm period, and probably lacked any glaciers
Various forms of life exist, such as plants, fungi, protists and bacteria. The criteria can at times be ambiguous and may or may not define viruses, biology is the primary science concerned with the study of life, although many other sciences are involved. The definition of life is controversial, the current definition is that organisms maintain homeostasis, are composed of cells, undergo metabolism, can grow, adapt to their environment, respond to stimuli, and reproduce. However, many other definitions have been proposed, and there are some borderline cases. Modern definitions are more complex, with input from a diversity of scientific disciplines, biophysicists have proposed many definitions based on chemical systems, there are some living systems theories, such as the Gaia hypothesis, the idea that the Earth itself is alive. Another theory is that life is the property of systems, and yet another is elaborated in complex systems biology. Abiogenesis describes the process of life arising from non-living matter.
Properties common to all organisms include the need for certain chemical elements to sustain biochemical functions. Life on Earth first appeared as early as 4.28 billion years ago, soon after ocean formation 4.41 billion years ago, Earths current life may have descended from an RNA world, although RNA-based life may not have been the first. The mechanism by which began on Earth is unknown, though many hypotheses have been formulated and are often based on the Miller–Urey experiment. The earliest known forms are microfossils of bacteria. In July 2016, scientists reported identifying a set of 355 genes believed to be present in the last universal ancestor of all living organisms. Since its primordial beginnings, life on Earth has changed its environment on a time scale. To survive in most ecosystems, life must often adapt to a range of conditions. Some microorganisms, called extremophiles, thrive in physically or geochemically extreme environments that are detrimental to most other life on Earth, Aristotle was the first person to classify organisms.
Later, Carl Linnaeus introduced his system of nomenclature for the classification of species. Eventually new groups and categories of life were discovered, such as cells and microorganisms, cells are sometimes considered the smallest units and building blocks of life. There are two kinds of cells and eukaryotic, both of which consist of cytoplasm enclosed within a membrane and contain many such as proteins
Rock or stone is a natural substance, a solid aggregate of one or more minerals or mineraloids. For example, granite, a rock, is a combination of the minerals quartz, feldspar. The Earths outer solid layer, the lithosphere, is made of rock, rock has been used by mankind throughout history. The minerals and metals found in rocks have been essential to human civilization, three major groups of rocks are defined, igneous and metamorphic. The scientific study of rocks is called petrology, which is a component of geology. At a granular level, rocks are composed of grains of minerals, the aggregate minerals forming the rock are held together by chemical bonds. The types and abundance of minerals in a rock are determined by the manner in which the rock was formed, many rocks contain silica, a compound of silicon and oxygen that forms 74. 3% of the Earths crust. This material forms crystals with other compounds in the rock, the proportion of silica in rocks and minerals is a major factor in determining their name and properties.
Rocks are geologically classified according to such as mineral and chemical composition, the texture of the constituent particles. These physical properties are the end result of the processes that formed the rocks, over the course of time, rocks can transform from one type into another, as described by the geological model called the rock cycle. These events produce three general classes of rock, igneous and metamorphic, the three classes of rocks are subdivided into many groups. However, there are no hard and fast boundaries between allied rocks, hence the definitions adopted in establishing rock nomenclature merely correspond to more or less arbitrary selected points in a continuously graduated series. Igneous rock forms through the cooling and solidification of magma or lava and this magma can be derived from partial melts of pre-existing rocks in either a planets mantle or crust. Typically, the melting of rocks is caused by one or more of three processes, an increase in temperature, a decrease in pressure, or a change in composition, igneous rocks are divided into two main categories, plutonic rock and volcanic.
Plutonic or intrusive rocks result when magma cools and crystallizes slowly within the Earths crust, a common example of this type is granite. Volcanic or extrusive rocks result from magma reaching the surface either as lava or fragmental ejecta, the chemical abundance and the rate of cooling of magma typically forms a sequence known as Bowens reaction series. Most major igneous rocks are found along this scale, about 64. 7% of the Earths crust by volume consists of igneous rocks, making it the most plentiful category. Of these, 66% are basalts and gabbros, 16% are granite, only 0. 6% are syenites and 0. 3% peridotites and dunites
The Ediacaran biota consisted of enigmatic tubular and frond-shaped, mostly sessile organisms that lived during the Ediacaran Period. Trace fossils of organisms have been found worldwide, and represent the earliest known complex multicellular organisms. The Ediacaran biota radiated in an event called the Avalon explosion,575 million years ago, the biota largely disappeared with the rapid increase in biodiversity known as the Cambrian explosion. Most of the existing body plans of animals first appeared in the fossil record of the Cambrian rather than the Ediacaran. For macroorganisms, the Cambrian biota appears to have replaced the organisms that dominated the Ediacaran fossil record. Multiple hypotheses exist to explain the disappearance of this biota, including bias, a changing environment. The morphology and habit of some taxa suggest relationships to Porifera or Cnidaria, Kimberella may show a similarity to molluscs, and other organisms have been thought to possess bilateral symmetry, although this is controversial.
Most macroscopic fossils are morphologically distinct from life-forms, they resemble discs, one palaeontologist proposed a separate kingdom level category Vendozoa in the Linnaean hierarchy for the Ediacaran biota. The concept of Ediacaran Biota is, of course, somewhat artificial as it can not be defined geographically, stratigraphically, the first Ediacaran fossils discovered were the disc-shaped Aspidella terranovica in 1868. Their discoverer, Scottish geologist Alexander Murray, found them useful aids for correlating the age of rocks around Newfoundland, they were interpreted as gas escape structures or inorganic concretions. No similar structures elsewhere in the world were known and the one-sided debate soon fell into obscurity. It was not until the British discovery of the iconic Charnia in 1957 that the pre-Cambrian was seriously considered as containing life. This frond-shaped fossil was found in Englands Charnwood Forest, and due to the geological mapping of the British Geological Survey there was no doubt these fossils sat in Precambrian rocks.
All specimens discovered until 1967 were in coarse-grained sandstone that prevented preservation of fine details, poor communication, combined with the difficulty in correlating globally distinct formations, led to a plethora of different names for the biota. Ediacaran and Ediacarian were subsequently applied to the epoch or period of geological time, in March 2004, the International Union of Geological Sciences ended the inconsistency by formally naming the terminal period of the Neoproterozoic after the Australian locality. The term Ediacaran biota and similar has, at times, been used in a geographic, taphonomic, or biological sense. Microbial mats are areas of sediment stabilised by the presence of colonies of microbes that secrete sticky fluids or otherwise bind the sediment particles. They appear to migrate upwards when covered by a layer of sediment but this is an illusion caused by the colonys growth, individuals do not, themselves
An arthropod is an invertebrate animal having an exoskeleton, a segmented body, and jointed appendages. Arthropods form the phylum Arthropoda, which includes the insects, myriapods, arthropods are characterized by their jointed limbs and cuticle made of chitin, often mineralised with calcium carbonate. The arthropod body plan consists of segments, each with a pair of appendages, the rigid cuticle inhibits growth, so arthropods replace it periodically by moulting. Their versatility has enabled them to become the most species-rich members of all guilds in most environments. They have over a million described species, making up more than 80% of all described living species, some of which. Arthropods range in size from the microscopic crustacean Stygotantulus up to the Japanese spider crab, arthropods primary internal cavity is a hemocoel, which accommodates their internal organs, and through which their haemolymph – analogue of blood – circulates, they have open circulatory systems. Like their exteriors, the organs of arthropods are generally built of repeated segments.
Their nervous system is ladder-like, with paired ventral nerve cords running through all segments and their heads are formed by fusion of varying numbers of segments, and their brains are formed by fusion of the ganglia of these segments and encircle the esophagus. The respiratory and excretory systems of arthropods vary, depending as much on their environment as on the subphylum to which they belong, arthropods have a wide range of chemical and mechanical sensors, mostly based on modifications of the many setae that project through their cuticles. Aquatic species use internal or external fertilization. Almost all arthropods lay eggs, but scorpions give birth to live young after the eggs have hatched inside the mother, arthropod hatchlings vary from miniature adults to grubs and caterpillars that lack jointed limbs and eventually undergo a total metamorphosis to produce the adult form. The level of care for hatchlings varies from nonexistent to the prolonged care provided by scorpions. The evolutionary ancestry of arthropods dates back to the Cambrian period, the group is generally regarded as monophyletic, and many analyses support the placement of arthropods with cycloneuralians in a superphylum Ecdysozoa.
Overall however, the relationships of Metazoa are not yet well resolved. Likewise, the relationships between various groups are still actively debated. Arthropods contribute to the food supply both directly as food, and more importantly indirectly as pollinators of crops. Some species are known to spread disease to humans, livestock. The word arthropod comes from the Greek ἄρθρον árthron, and πούς pous, i. e. foot or leg, arthropods are invertebrates with segmented bodies and jointed limbs
Birds, a subgroup of Reptiles, are the last living examples of Dinosaurs. Birds live worldwide and range in size from the 5 cm bee hummingbird to the 2.75 m ostrich. They rank as the class of tetrapods with the most living species, at ten thousand. Birds are the closest living relatives of crocodilians, the fossil record indicates that birds evolved from feathered ancestors within the theropod group of saurischian dinosaurs. True birds first appeared during the Cretaceous period, around 100 million years ago, especially those in the southern continents, survived this event and migrated to other parts of the world while diversifying during periods of global cooling. Primitive bird-like dinosaurs that lie outside class Aves proper, in the broader group Avialae, have been found dating back to the mid-Jurassic period, around 170 million years ago. Birds have wings which are more or less developed depending on the species, the digestive and respiratory systems of birds are uniquely adapted for flight.
Some bird species of aquatic environments, particularly seabirds and some waterbirds, have evolved for swimming. Many species annually migrate great distances, Birds are social, communicating with visual signals and bird songs, and participating in such social behaviours as cooperative breeding and hunting and mobbing of predators. The vast majority of species are socially monogamous, usually for one breeding season at a time, sometimes for years. Other species have breeding systems that are polygynous or, Birds produce offspring by laying eggs which are fertilised through sexual reproduction. They are usually laid in a nest and incubated by the parents, most birds have an extended period of parental care after hatching. Some birds, such as hens, lay eggs even when not fertilised, songbirds and other species are popular as pets. Guano is harvested for use as a fertiliser, Birds prominently figure throughout human culture. About 120–130 species have become extinct due to human activity since the 17th century, human activity threatens about 1,200 bird species with extinction, though efforts are underway to protect them.
Recreational birdwatching is an important part of the ecotourism industry, the first classification of birds was developed by Francis Willughby and John Ray in their 1676 volume Ornithologiae. Carl Linnaeus modified that work in 1758 to devise the taxonomic classification system currently in use, Birds are categorised as the biological class Aves in Linnaean taxonomy. Phylogenetic taxonomy places Aves in the dinosaur clade Theropoda, Aves and a sister group, the clade Crocodilia, contain the only living representatives of the reptile clade Archosauria
Earliest known life forms
The earliest known life forms on Earth are putative fossilized microorganisms. The earliest time that life forms first appeared on Earth is unknown, a life form, or lifeform, is an entity or being that is living. Earth remains the place in the universe known to harbor life forms. More than 99% of all species of life forms, amounting to five billion species. Estimates on the number of Earths current species of life forms range from 10 million to 14 million, of which about 1.2 million have been documented and over 86 percent have not yet been described. More recently, in May 2016, scientists reported that 1 trillion species are estimated to be on Earth currently with only one-thousandth of one percent described, the total amount of related DNA base pairs on Earth is estimated at 5.0 x 1037 and weighs 50 billion tonnes. In comparison, the mass of the biosphere has been estimated to be as much as 4 TtC. In July 2016, scientists reported identifying a set of 355 genes from the Last Universal Common Ancestor of all living on Earth.
Under certain test conditions, life forms have been observed to thrive in the vacuum of outer space, Life forms appear to thrive in the Mariana Trench, the deepest spot in the Earths oceans. In August 2014, scientists confirmed the existence of life forms living 800 m below the ice of Antarctica, fossil evidence from the Earth informs most studies of the origin of life. Microbial mat fossils have found in 3.48 billion-year-old sandstone in Western Australia. Other early physical evidence of biogenic substances includes graphite, and possibly stromatolites, remains of biotic life have been found in 4.1 billion-year-old rocks in Western Australia. In recent years, there have been a number of discoveries that suggested the earliest appearance of life on Earth was even earlier in time, according to biologist Stephen Blair Hedges, If life arose relatively quickly on Earth … it could be common in the universe. Biota Life Vitae Wikispecies – a free directory of life