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LET'S EXPLORE Prehistoric life

When did life first appear on land?

Plants take root on land for the first time.Plants take root on land for the first time.Until about 440 million years ago, there was no life on land. Certain kinds of algae (tiny, simple plants), may have been washed ashore at low tide. Very gradually, they found a way to stay alive longer on land. They grew waxy skins to prevent them from drying out. Simple roots, to anchor them in place, evolved. At last, plants were growing on land.

Fish prey on land insectsFish prey on land insects

First land animals

The first known land animals were millipedes. They were once marine animals, but they started to live on land so they could feed on the plants growing there. Their hard cases kept them from drying out while they were out of the water. Their jointed legs allowed them to scuttle about. Millipedes, followed by centipedes, insects, snails and spiders, became land-dwellers. They, in turn, became food for seashore fish.

The first amphibians

Tiktaalik was the earliest fish to have a neck. It was the first known land-dwelling vertebrate.

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