Origin and Early Evolution of Life

Paperback | December 1, 2002

byTom Fenchel

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Origin and Early Evolution of Life draws on evidence from molecular genetics, the structure and function of extant organisms, and geology. It covers the period from about 4 billion years ago, when life is thought to have originated, to about 600 million years ago when multicellular organismsfirst arose. There are significant gaps in our understanding of the earliest evolution of life forms, but an insight into the topic leads to a more profound understanding of life itself. Particular emphasis is placed on the fact that although life arose very soon after the origin of the Earth, itwas represented only by simple microbial life forms for approximately 85% of this time. Increase in complexity beyond the microbial level took place only very late in the history of life.

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Origin and Early Evolution of Life draws on evidence from molecular genetics, the structure and function of extant organisms, and geology. It covers the period from about 4 billion years ago, when life is thought to have originated, to about 600 million years ago when multicellular organismsfirst arose. There are significant gaps in ...

Tom Fenchel is at Marine Biological Laboratory, University of Copenhagen, Helsingor, Denmark.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:December 1, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198525338

ISBN - 13:9780198525332

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. The Geological Time Frame3. Early Ideas on the Origin of Life4. What is Life?5. Origin of Life6. From the RNA-World to the First Cell7. The Evolution of Metabolism8. The Eukaryotic Cell9. Multicellular Organisms - Origins as Cell Colonies10. Sex, Species Concepts, and Evolution11. Our Anaerobic Inheritance12. The Molecular Tree13. Evidence from Geology14. Transitions During the Evolution of Life