Full description for Earth in 100 Groundbreaking Discoveries
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.