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      Life on Earth evolved from a universal common ancestor approximately 3.8 billion years ago...

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Back Evolution Origin of Life

Origin of Life

Birthplace for primitive life on Earth? Researchers identify mud volcanoes in Greenland as niche for early life

1000pa (Oct. 25, 2011) — The mud volcanoes at Isua, in south-west Greenland, have been identified as a possible birthplace for life on Earth by an international team headed by researchers from the Laboratoire de Géologie de Lyon: Terre, Planètes et Environnement (CNRS/Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1/ENS de Lyon). Almost four billion years ago, these volcanoes released chemical elements indispensable to the formation of the first bio...

1000pa (Oct. 25, 2011) — The mud volcanoes at Isua, in south-west Greenland, have been identified as a possible birthplace for life on Earth by an international team headed by researchers from the Laboratoire de Géologie de Lyon: Terre, Planètes et Environnement (CNRS/Université Claude Bernard...

New evidence for first production of oxygen on Earth

1000pa (Oct. 19, 2011) — A new study is believed to have resolved a major debate about when oxygen began to be produced on Earth and how long it took before oxygen levels were enough to support the growth of life.

Winthrop Professor Mark Barley, from The University of Western Australia's Centre for Exploration Targeting, and colleagues from the University of Alberta led by Professor Kurt Konhauser, made the discovery by examining key...

1000pa (Oct. 19, 2011) — A new study is believed to...

First comet found with ocean-like water

1000pa (Oct. 5, 2011) — New evidence supports the theory that comets delivered a significant portion of Earth's oceans, which scientists believe formed about 8 million years after the planet itself.

The findings, which involve a University of Michigan astronomer, are published Oct. 5 online in Nature.

"Life would not exist on Earth without liquid water, and so the questions of how and when the oceans got here is a fundamental one," said U-M...

1000pa (Oct. 5, 2011) — New evidence...

Pumice proposed as home to the first life forms

1000pa (Oct. 4, 2011) — The glassy, porous, and once gas-rich rock called pumice may have given rise to early life forms, according to a provocative new hypothesis on the origin of life published in Astrobiology.

Martin Brasier, Richard Matthewman, and Sean McMahon, University of Oxford (U.K.), and David Wacey, University of Western Australia (Crawley), contend that pumice has "four remarkable properties" that would enable it to have had "a...

1000pa (Oct. 4, 2011) — The glassy, porous...

Rock rafts could be 'cradle of life'

1000pa (Sep. 3, 2011) — Floating rafts of volcanic pumice could have played a significant role in the origins of life on Earth, scientists from Oxford University and the University of Western Australia have suggested.

The researchers, writing in the September issue of the journal Astrobiology, argue that pumice has a unique set of properties which would have made it an ideal habitat for the earliest organisms that emerged on Earth over 3.5...

1000pa (Sep. 3, 2011) — Floating rafts of...

Oldest fossils on Earth discovered

1000pa (Aug. 21, 2011) — Earth's oldest fossils have been found in Australia by a team from the University of Western Australia and Oxford University. The microscopic fossils show convincing evidence for cells and bacteria living in an oxygen-free world over 3.4 billion years ago.

The team, led by Dr David Wacey of the University of Western Australia and including Professor Martin Brasier of Oxford University, report the finding in the...

1000pa (Aug. 21, 2011) — Earth's oldest fossils...

Billion-year-old piece of North America traced back to Antarctica

1000pa (Aug. 8, 2011) — An international team of researchers has found the strongest evidence yet that parts of North America and Antarctica were connected 1.1 billion years ago, long before the supercontinent Pangaea formed.

"I can go to the Franklin Mountains in West Texas and stand next to what was once part of Coats Land in Antarctica," said Staci Loewy, a geochemist at California State University, Bakersfield, who led the study....

1000pa (Aug. 8, 2011) — An international team of...

Reservoirs of ancient lava shaped Earth

1000pa (July 27, 2011) — Geological history has periodically featured giant lava eruptions that coat large swaths of land or ocean floor with basaltic lava, which hardens into rock formations called flood basalt. New research from Matthew Jackson and Richard Carlson proposes that the remnants of six of the largest volcanic events of the past 250 million years contain traces of the ancient Earth's primitive mantle -- which existed before...

1000pa (July 27, 2011) — Geological history has...

Asteroid served up 'custom orders' of life's ingredients

1000pa (June 9, 2011) — Some asteroids may have been like "molecular factories" cranking out life's ingredients and shipping them to Earth via meteorite impacts, according to scientists who've made discoveries of molecules essential for life in material from certain kinds of asteroids and comets. Now it appears that at least one may have been less like a rigid assembly line and more like a flexible diner that doesn't mind making changes to...

1000pa (June 9, 2011) — Some asteroids may have...

Meteorite holds clues to organic chemistry of early Earth

1000pa (June 10, 2011) — Carbonaceous chondrites are a type of organic-rich meteorite that contain samples of the materials that took part in the creation of our planets nearly 4.6 billion years ago, including materials that were likely formed before our Solar System was created and may have been crucial to the formation of life on Earth. The complex suite of organic materials found in carbonaceous chondrites can vary substantially from...

1000pa (June 10, 2011) — Carbonaceous chondrites...

Adjustable valves gave ancient plants the edge

1000pa (June 10, 2011) — Controlling water loss is an important ability for modern land plants as it helps them thrive in changing environments. New research from the University of Bristol, published June 9 in the journal Current Biology, shows that water conserving innovations occurred very early in plants' evolutionary history.

The research focused on the role of stomata, microscopic pores in the surface of leaves that allow carbon...

1000pa (June 10, 2011) — Controlling water loss is...

Peculiar feeding mechanism of the first vertebrates

1000pa (May 20, 2011) — A fang-like tooth on double upper lips, spiny teeth on the tongue and a pulley-like mechanism to move the tongue backwards and forwards -- this bizarre bite belongs to a conodont and, thanks to a fresh fossil find, has now been analyzed and reconstructed by a Swiss-French research team headed by paleontologists from the University of Zurich. Their analysis sheds some light on the evolutionary origin of jaws. Using a...

1000pa (May 20, 2011) — A fang-like tooth on...

Errors in protein structure sparked evolution of biological complexity

1000pa (May 21, 2011) — Over four billion years of evolution, plants and animals grew far more complex than their single-celled ancestors. But a new comparison of proteins shared across species finds that complex organisms, including humans, have accumulated structural weaknesses that may have actually launched the long journey from microbe to man.

The study, published in Nature, suggests that the random introduction of errors into...

1000pa (May 21, 2011) — Over four billion years of...

Young graphite in old rocks challenges the earliest signs of life

1000pa (May 21, 2011) — Carbon found within ancient rocks has played a crucial role developing a time line for the emergence of biological life on the planet billions of years ago. But applying cutting-edge technology to samples of ancient rocks from northern Canada has revealed the carbon-based minerals may be much younger than the rock they inhabit, a team of researchers report in the latest edition of the journal Nature Geoscience.

The...

1000pa (May 21, 2011) — Carbon found within...

Mass extinction of marine life in oceans during prehistoric times offers warning for future

1000pa (May 17, 2011) — The mass extinction of marine life in our oceans during prehistoric times is a warning that the same could happen again due to high levels of greenhouse gases, according to new research.

Professor Martin Kennedy from the University of Adelaide (School of Earth & Environmental Sciences) and Professor Thomas Wagner from Newcastle University, UK, (Civil Engineering and Geosciences) have been studying 'greenhouse...

1000pa (May 17, 2011) — The mass extinction of...

Genomic archeology reveals early evolution of sex chromosomes

1000pa (May 17, 2011) — A team from Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden, is using genomics to shed light on the early evolutionary history of sex chromosomes. The research is published in the April 2011 Eukaryotic Cell.

Among other things, the genome is a place where the distant past can be investigated. Researchers have used it most notably to trace the relationships among species far more accurately than can be done with conventional...

1000pa (May 17, 2011) — A team from Uppsala...

New evidence shows mobile animals could have evolved much earlier than previously thought

1000pa (May 18, 2011) — A University of Alberta-led research team has discovered that billions of years before life evolved in the oceans, thin layers of microbial matter in shallow water produced enough oxygen to support tiny, mobile life forms.

The researchers say worm-like creatures could have lived on the oxygen produced by photosynthetic microbial material, even though oxygen concentrations in the surrounding water were not high enough...

1000pa (May 18, 2011) — A University of...

Ancient enzymes: Protein adaptation shows that life on early Earth lived in a hot, acidic environment

1000pa (Apr. 5, 2011) — A new study reveals that a group of ancient enzymes adapted to substantial changes in ocean temperature and acidity during the last four billion years, providing evidence that life on Early Earth evolved from a much hotter, more acidic environment to the cooler, less acidic global environment that exists today.

The study found that a group of ancient enzymes known as thioredoxin were chemically stable at temperatures...

1000pa (Apr. 5, 2011) — A new study reveals...

Fossil is best look yet at an ancestor of buttercups

1000pa (Mar. 31, 2011) — Scientists from the United States and China have discovered the first intact fossil of a mature eudicot, a type of flowering plant whose membership includes buttercups, apple trees, maple trees, dandelions and proteas. The 125-million-year-old find, described in the journal Nature, reveals a remarkably developed species, leading the scientists to argue for an earlier origin of the eudicots -- and perhaps flowering...

1000pa (Mar. 31, 2011) — Scientists from the...

New discoveries on gene regulation in the evolution of the vertebrate brain

1000pa (Mar. 24, 2011) — Alternative splicing of RNA transcripts is a process leading to differential gene expression and the production of different proteins, which is the key to cell differentiation and a foundation of many diseases. A group directed by Jordi García-Fernàndez and Gemma Marfany, from the Department of Genetics and the Institute of Biomedicine of the University of Barcelona (IBUB), has described the generation of a gene ne...

1000pa (Mar. 24, 2011) — Alternative splicing...

Glimpse of how the 'code' of life may have emerged

1000pa (Mar. 24, 2011) — A portion of the "code" of life has been unraveled by a UC Santa Barbara graduate student from the town of Jojutla, Mexico. Annia Rodriguez worked with John Perona, professor in UCSB's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, to decipher intramolecular communication within a large RNA-protein enzyme responsible for expressing the genetic code for the amino acid glutamine. To their surprise, the experiments by...

1000pa (Mar. 24, 2011) — A portion of the "code" of...

First Bird

First Bird
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Unexplained artifacts

unexplained artifacts
The 10 most amazing unexplained artifacts

Evolution

Timeline: Human Evolution

Biggest Dinosaurs

The 10 Biggest Dinosaurs

Fossils 

Fossil Formation: How Do Fossils Form?
 

Book review

Dinosaurs Encyclopedia

Book Review

Dinosaurs: The Most Complete, Up-to-Date Encyclopedia for Dinosaur Lovers of All Ages ... WRITTEN BY A PROFESSIONAL paleontologist specifically for young readers, this guide to the Dinosauria is packed...