Lovellea: Flower of the forest
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Research by palaeobotanists shows us that around 500 million years ago plant life consisted mainly of single celled organisms that were restricted to the sea. Although the seas teemed with animal life at this time (the invertebrates were already well established and the first vertebrates were also beginning to appear), these unicellular algae were only just starting to diversify into multi-celled plants. By 465 million years ago the first algae, fungi and bacteria had begun to appear on land and, as time passed, these were followed by other plant forms including bryophytes (mosses and liverworts), lycophytes (club mosses), sphenophytes (horsetails) and pteropsids (ferns).
AAOD Journal Issue 9 (2011) – pages 38 to 45
By Joanne Wilkinson
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