Approximately 4.5 billion years ago, Earth’s land surface was barren and devoid of life. It would take another 2 billion years for the first single-celled organisms to appear in the ocean, including the first algae Grypania spiralis, which was about the size of a 50 pence piece.
Plants composed of many cells have only been around for a mere 800 million years. To survive on land, plants had to protect themselves from UV radiation and develop spores and later seeds which allowed them to disperse more widely. These innovations helped plants become one of the most influential lifeforms on Earth. Today, plants are found in every major ecosystem on the planet and scientists describe more than 2,000 new species every year.
Read Sven’s article in ‘the conversation’ which gives a fascinating insight into the world of plants and five discoveries which help us see our distant green cousins in a new light: https://theconversation.com/five-fascinating-insights-into-the-inner-lives-of-plants-174752