Australia's First 4 Billion Years - Netflix

Posted on Mon 27 May 2019 in netflix

Of all the continents on Earth, none preserves a more spectacular story of our planet's origins than Australia. NOVA's four-part Australia's First 4 Billion Years takes viewers on a rollicking adventure from the birth of the Earth to the emergence of the world we know today. With help from host and scientist Richard Smith, we meet titanic dinosaurs and giant kangaroos, sea monsters and prehistoric crustaceans, disappearing mountains and deadly asteroids. Epic in scope, intimate in nature, this is the untold story of the land "down under," the one island continent that has got it all. Join NOVA on the ultimate Outback road trip, an exploration of the history of the planet as seen through the window of the Australian continent.

Australia's First 4 Billion Years - Netflix

Type: Documentary

Languages: English

Status: Ended

Runtime: 60 minutes

Premier: 2013-04-10

Australia's First 4 Billion Years - Earliest known life forms - Netflix

The earliest known life forms on Earth are putative fossilized microorganisms found in hydrothermal vent precipitates. The earliest time that life forms first appeared on Earth is unknown. They may have lived earlier than 3.77 billion years ago, possibly as early as 4.28 billion years ago, not long after the oceans formed 4.41 billion years ago, and not long after the formation of the Earth 4.54 billion years ago. The earliest direct evidence of life on Earth are fossils of microorganisms permineralized in 3.465-billion-year-old Australian Apex chert rocks.

Australia's First 4 Billion Years - Earliest life forms - Netflix

Fossil evidence informs most studies of the origin of life. The age of the Earth is about 4.54 billion years; the earliest undisputed evidence of life on Earth dates from at least 3.5 billion years ago. There is evidence that life began much earlier. In 2017, fossilized microorganisms, or microfossils, were announced to have been discovered in hydrothermal vent precipitates in the Nuvvuagittuq Belt of Quebec, Canada that may be as old as 4.28 billion years old, the oldest record of life on Earth, suggesting “an almost instantaneous emergence of life” (in a geological time-scale sense), after ocean formation 4.41 billion years ago, and not long after the formation of the Earth 4.54 billion years ago.

“Remains of life” have been found in 4.1 billion-year-old rocks in Western Australia. Evidence of biogenic graphite, and possibly stromatolites, was discovered in 3.7 billion-year-old metasedimentary rocks in southwestern Greenland. In May 2017, evidence of life on land may have been found in 3.48 billion-year-old geyserite which is often found around hot springs and geysers, and other related mineral deposits, uncovered in the Pilbara Craton of Western Australia. This complements the November 2013 publication that microbial mat fossils had been found in 3.48 billion-year-old sandstone in Western Australia. In November 2017, a study by the University of Edinburgh suggested that life on Earth may have originated from biological particles carried by streams of space dust. A December 2017 report stated that 3.465-billion-year-old Australian Apex chert rocks once contained microorganisms, the earliest direct evidence of life on Earth. In January 2018, a study found that 4.5 billion-year-old meteorites found on Earth contained liquid water along with prebiotic complex organic substances that may be ingredients for life. According to biologist Stephen Blair Hedges, “If life arose relatively quickly on Earth … then it could be common in the universe.”

Australia's First 4 Billion Years - References - Netflix