2100 – 2000 million years ago

Year twenty-six
The land is colonised?

The land is colonised?

Bacteria may have been the first organisms to have colonised the land.

It is usually supposed that all early living organisms were only found under water, where they were protected from ultraviolet radiation. With the absence of oxygen and ozone in the atmosphere, ultraviolet light would have reached the land surface, killing anything that tried to live there. It is also supposed that the land was not occupied much before Earth's 42nd birthday (about 400 million years ago).

But there is a possibility that some bacteria were living within damp soils about 2000 million years ago, and were thus the first organisms to invade the land. Some scientists believe this because red soils called laterites have been recorded at this early period, and it is thought that bacteria were creating sufficient oxygen to turn the iron in the soils into rust.

However, plants did not start to colonise the land until just before Earth's 42nd birthday and animals started to move ashore just before its 43rd birthday.


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