How the Earth Turned Green: A Brief 3.8-Billion-Year History of Plants

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On this blue planet, long before pterodactyls took to the skies and tyrannosaurs prowled the continents, tiny green organisms populated the ancient oceans. Fossil and phylogenetic evidence suggests that chlorophyll, the green pigment responsible for coloring these organisms, has been in existence for some 85% of Earth’s long history—that is, for roughly 3.5 billion years. In How the Earth Turned Green, Joseph E. Armstrong traces the history of these verdant organisms, which many would call plants, from their ancient beginnings to the diversity of green life that inhabits the Earth today.

Using an evolutionary framework, How the Earth Turned Green addresses questions such as: Should all green organisms be considered plants? Why do these organisms look the way they do? How are they related to one another and to other chlorophyll-free organisms? How do they reproduce? How have they changed and diversified over time? And how has the presence of green organisms changed the Earth’s ecosystems? More engaging than a traditional textbook and displaying an astonishing breadth, How the Earth Turned Green will both delight and enlighten embryonic botanists and any student interested in the evolutionary history of plants.

3 comments on “How the Earth Turned Green: A Brief 3.8-Billion-Year History of Plants”

  1. Outstanding evolutionary history. How it all started, the why and how of sex, and many other mysteries unraveled Joe Armstrong is professor emeritus at Illinois State University. He loves to teach, and this book encapsulates most of the subjects dearest to his heart – the evolution of green plants.This book is a rarety among all books of paleontology for the exceptionally clear description it gives of the early evolution of single celled organisms. He explains that you can't call them either animal or plant. The dividing lines are ambiguous.The story starts about 3.8 billion years...

  2. which adds to the enjoyment. When someone loves what they do it comes ... I am LOVING this book!!!!! It is VERY readable for a non-professional. The author explains things very clearly. His lovely, dry sense of humor peeks through now and then, which adds to the enjoyment. When someone loves what they do it comes through in their writings, I am VERY glad I got this book! It is the most enjoyable science based book I've read in a very long time.

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