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

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In Dr Gee’s view, watching all life wink out may be like watching a film run in reverse, where complexity declines, and the ability to evolve into new species diminishes until there’s nothing left alive as even the planet itself dies. Then 63 million years ago a meteorite landed in a part of the Sea of Mexico in the Yucatan area and wiped out all the land dinosaurs. The pursuit of nutrients, and the need to survive both the harsh radiation from the sun, and the changing climate of the Earth, led to numerous innovations for protection, efficient use and storage of energy, and reproduction, amongst other needs.

At the same time, gases such as methane and carbon dioxide were scrubbed from the air, absorbed by the abundance of newly formed rock. At the highest level of the temporal hierarchy are the 'eons' (I think this would be 'aeons' to the classicists). Bacterial cells generally reproduce by dividing in half to create two identical copies of the parent cell. To be fair, Gee tempers that later, referring to our future as a 'few thousand to tens of thousands of years' and then a little later still as 'sooner or later'.On the downside I did have to spend time looking up illustrations of at least some of the creatures - not always possible as my laptop was not always at hand. From that first foray to the spread of early hominids who later became Homo sapiens , life has persisted, undaunted.

Initially I felt I was going into a very skimmed version of similar books I had read earlier - but then once you are a few pages in, you see the differences come up. They formed when the rising currents became turbulent and diverted into eddies and, losing energy, dumped their cargo of mineral-rich debris4 into gaps and pores in the rock.One of the most interesting aspects of the book is explaining how we should currently be living in an idyllic period of warmth due to the way that the Earth sits on its axis and revolves around the Sun. The photosynthesis of water produces as a waste product a colorless, odorless gas that burns anything it touches. These hugely successful creatures filled every evolutionary niche, leaving little room for much else, including the early mammals; it wasn’t until the dinosaurs died out that mammals could ‘burst forth like a well-aged champagne, shaken beforehand, and inexpertly corked’. Fortunately, I've watched a lot of science documentaries so I could picture the creatures when he spoke of them. It was formed through a carboniferous atmosphere where the sky was brown not blue, and oxygen was sucked from the air and volcanoes went off constantly.

And the human interior, despite its wide variation in acidity and temperature, is, in bacterial terms, a gentle place. However, as we became able to start and manage fire and eat a range of foods and digest for long periods and became a predator, we eventually adapted but remained in a warm climate. When the supply of available hydrogen began to run low, the star began to fuse helium into atoms of heavier elements such as carbon and oxygen. billion years ago, life had spread from the permanent dark of the ocean depths to the sunlit surface waters. These membranes were imperfect, sievelike, and, like sieves, allowed some substances to cross but not others.As the title of the book suggests, this crams the essence of 4,600 million years of the Earth's history into less than 200 pages.

However, some dinosaurs do still exist, and they became the many of the birds we see around us, including chickens. Schade, dass es außer den schematischen Karten der Erdzeitalter keine Illustrationen gibt, die diese Vielfalt auch optisch verdeutlichen, obwohl die für ein Sachbuch durchaus bildhafte Schreibweise doch die Vorstellungskraft anregt. Se você quer um resumo da vida na Terra, redigido com o que há de mais atual em ciência, este livro é para você. Go to a museum and see bones of fins and you will see how similar they are to the bones in our arms and feet – as are all mammals. Drawing on the very latest scientific understanding and writing in a clear, accessible style, he tells an enlightening tale of survival and persistence that illuminates the delicate balance within which life has always existed.

However, it does appear that there was the moment in the Permian age that some bony fish grew and moved onto land to become land animals. All the animals which ever existed for 150 million years in the time of the dinosaur, there were a few small creatures underground did eventually become a new form of animal that could feed on grass, and this contains silica which often required teeth cells to grind it down. The first rumbles of an oncoming storm came from the rifting and breakup of a supercontinent, Rodinia. Die Karriere aller Lebewesen ende mit dem Aussterben, zitiert Gee in seinem Nachwort den britischen Politiker Enoch Powell. Besides, taking the long view, ‘life on Earth, with all its drama, all its comings and goings, is governed by just two things.

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