Earth’s earliest non-marine eukaryotes

  title={Earth’s earliest non-marine eukaryotes},
  author={Paul K. Strother and Leila Battison and Martin D. Brasier and Charles H. Wellman},
The existence of a terrestrial Precambrian (more than 542 Myr ago) biota has been largely inferred from indirect chemical and geological evidence associated with palaeosols, the weathering of clay minerals and microbially induced sedimentary structures in siliciclastic sediments. Direct evidence of fossils within rocks of non-marine origin in the Precambrian is exceedingly rare. The most widely cited example comprises a single report of morphologically simple mineralized tubes and spheres… 
Terrestrial Ecosystems in the Precambrian
Although Precambrian (>550 Ma old) landscapes have been largely considered devoid of life and do not yield obvious traces indicative of terrestrial fossils (e.g., plant roots), there is now ample
Evaluating evidence from the Torridonian Supergroup (Scotland, UK) for eukaryotic life on land in the Proterozoic
Abstract The Stoer, Sleat and Torridon groups lie unconformably on Palaeoproterozoic Lewisian metamorphic rocks. They contain organic carbon microfossils claimed to be non-marine and to include
The terrestrial biota prior to the origin of land plants (embryophytes): a review of the evidence
It is often assumed that life originated and diversified in the oceans prior to colonizing the land. However, environmental constraints in chemical evolution models point towards critical steps
Palaeoecology of a billion‐year‐old non‐marine cyanobacterium from the Torridon Group and Nonesuch Formation
The abundance and wide distribution of Eohalothece lacustrina attests to the importance of cyanobacteria as oxygen‐producing photoautotrophs in lacustrine ecosystems at the time of the Mesoproterozoic–NeoproTerozoic transition, and suggests that the Torridonian lakes were nitrogen limited as the release of microcystins is enhanced under such conditions today.
Abstract Continental siltstones of the Mesoproterozoic Copper Harbor Formation, Michigan contain macroscopic structures of a size and morphological complexity commonly associated with fossils of
Cryptogamic ground covers as analogues for early terrestrial biospheres: Initiation and evolution of biologically mediated proto‐soils
Modern cryptogamic ground covers (CGCs), comprising assemblages of bryophytes (hornworts, liverworts, mosses), fungi, bacteria, lichens and algae, are thought to resemble early divergent terrestrial
Early life on land and the first terrestrial ecosystems
The rapid adaptations seen in modern terrestrial microbes, their outstanding tolerance to extreme and fluctuating conditions, their early and rapid diversification, and their old fossil record collectively suggest that they constituted the earliest terrestrial ecosystems, at least since the Neoarchean, further succeeding on land and forming a biomass-rich cover with mature soils where plant-dominated ecosystems later evolved.


Early oxygenation of the terrestrial environment during the Mesoproterozoic
Disproportionation in both red beds and lacustrine black shales at the study site suggests that the Mesoproterozoic terrestrial environment was sufficiently oxygenated to support a biota that was adapted to an oxygen-rich atmosphere, but had also penetrated into subsurface sediment.
Life on land in the Proterozoic: Evidence from the Torridonian rocks of northwest Scotland
The Stoer Group and Diabaig Formation of the Torridonian succession in northwest Scotland are late Mesoproterozoic to early Neoproterozoic (ca. 1200–1000 Ma). Features preserved on the top surfaces
The late Precambrian greening of the Earth
All published oxygen and carbon isotope data for Neoproterozoic marine carbonates are considered in terms of processes known to alter the isotopic composition during transformation of the initial precipitate into limestone/dolostone, and it is shown that the combined oxygen andcarbon isotope systematics are identical to well-understood Phanerozoic examples.
Reduction spots in the Mesoproterozoic age: implications for life in the early terrestrial record
Abstract Reduction spots are common within continental red beds in the geological record. The method of formation of reduction spots is a subject of debate, but they are thought to be the result of
Morphological and ecological complexity in early eukaryotic ecosystems
It is shown that the cytoskeletal and ecological prerequisites for eukaryotic diversification were already established in eukARYotic microorganisms fossilized nearly 1,500 Myr ago in shales of the early Mesoproterozoic Roper Group in northern Australia.
The oldest known dinoflagellates: Morphological and molecular evidence from Mesoproterozoic rocks at Yongji, Shanxi Province
Abundant and well-preserved organic-walled microfossils including acanthomorphic acritarchs have been found in Mesoproterozoic Beidajian Formation in the Yongji area of Shanxi Province, North China.
Microbiotas of the Late Precambrian Hunnberg Formation, Nordaustlandet, Svalbard
  • A. Knoll
  • Environmental Science, Geography
  • 1984
A distinctive carbonate shallowing-upward sequence occurs within the upper Riphean (750-800 Ma) Hunnberg Formation of Nordaustlandet, Svalbard. Clastic limestones deposited in an open coastal marine
New Pre-Paleozoic Nannofossils from the Stoer Formation (Torridonian), Northwest Scotland
Sphaeroidal unicellular fossils 10 to 62 μm in diameter are abundant in black shales referred to the Stoer Formation of lower Torridonian age at Stoer Bay, in northwest Scotland. The Rb-Sr whole-rock
The late Mesoproterozoic–early Neoproterozoic tectonostratigraphic evolution of NW Scotland: the Torridonian revisited
The Torridonian succession of NW Scotland comprises three groups, deposited during late Mesoproterozoic to early Neoproterozoic time, the Stoer, Sleat and Torridon. Previous workers have inferred
Life on Land in the Precambrian
Microfossils have been discovered in cavity-fill and replacement silica that occurs between chert-breccia clasts in 1200-million-year-old paleokarst in central Arizona and at the top of the Beck Spring Dolomite, southeastern California.