Chapter 16: The Origin of Life and the Precambrian Evolution
Explore key concepts and research through these links to additional web resources.
16.1 What was the first living thing?
A good place to begin reading Dr. Awramik's article "Astrobiology and the Origins of Life.
Keywords: primordial soup, earth, Precambrian period
Dr. Lynn Margulis developed the endosymbiotic theory that posits the origin of cell organelles by hereditary symbiosis. Here you find many links about this theory as well as ongoing research.
Keywords: endosymbiotic, cell organelles, research
16.2 Where did the first living thing come from?
Museum of Paleontology
The University of California, Berkeley's Museum of Paleontology Web site has a wealth of resources, including several related to the origin of life.
Keywords: paleontology, resources, origin of life
How Did It All Begin?
David W. Deamer discusses the origin of cellular life in this on-line article. This was originally published in Evolution: Investigating the Evidence, Special Publication of the Paleontological Society Volume 9, 1999.
16.3 What was the last common ancestor of all extantorganisms and what is the shape of the tree of life?
Tree of Life Project
Explore the Archaea and other early forms of life.
Keywords: early life forms, resource, tree of life
The Tree of Life Home Page
From the University of Arizona, the Tree of Life is a collection of over 1630 World Wide Web pages containing information about the diversity of life. These pages are housed on 20 computers in four countries, and are authored by biologists from around the world.
Keywords: diversity, evolution, resource
16.4 How did the last common ancestor's descendants evolve into today's organisms?