The ArcBuilder Universe

 

TimeLine of the ArcBuilder Universe

 

The Titanian Era

3.2 to 1.35 billion years ago

 

3.00 billion years ago

  • Photosynthesizing cyanobacteria evolve on Earth.  Using water as a reducing agent, oxygen is released as a waste product.  With the exploitation of this previously untouched ecological niche, the cyanobacteria population explodes.  Vast amounts of oxygen are released into the atmosphere, but is initially absorbed by oceanic waters.  This results in the formation of iron ore, and the earliest of banded iron formations in later geological eras.  Over time, however, the oxygen content of the atmosphere rises, its production occurring faster than it can be absorbed.  Acting as a poison to other forms of bacteria, this brings about a mass extinction.  However, it also acts as an impetus for other forms of bacteria to adapt and evolve.
  • The young Moon is still extremely close to the Earth.  As such, there are still massive tides across the planet, often reaching more than 1,000 feet in height.  Hurricane force winds almost continually howl across the ocean and land, adding to the planetary maelstrom.  These mixing forces, coupled with the growing oxygen content of the atmosphere, force most other forms of life present to adapt and evolve into more modern microbial forms.
  • On Mars, the Amazonian geological period begins.  A marked decrease in geological activity leads to a massive global cooling.  The planet's internal heat has faded, and the magnetic field is slowly failing.  The planet, becoming increasingly unprotected from the fierce solar wind, begins to have its atmosphere eroded away.  The oceans begins to evaporate, much of the water being lost to space, while the rest becomes frozen and buried beneath sand and dust.  Over the course of the next three billion years the planet would experience warming periods, even to the point of standing water reappearing on the surface, but for the most part it will remain frozen and geologically quiescent, with native microbial forms becoming confined to subsurface thermal sites.
2.3 billion years ago:  Oxygen released by the early species of cyanobacteria continued to be absorbed by the oceans, forming iron oxide deposits that would be noted in the modern era.  However, a point was reached where no more oxygen could be absorbed, and it began to accumulate in the atmosphere.  Poisonous to most forms of microbial life on Earth, this Oxygen Crisis reached a point where major environmental changes began to occur, culminating in the extinction of most forms of life.  The free oxygen in the atmosphere also reacted with the copious amounts of methane present, greatly reducing its concentration and triggering the Huronian Glaciation, a snowball Earth event.  From this point on, oxygen has remained a key component to the Earth's atmosphere.
2.1 billion years ago:  Long term volcanic activity has been steadily increasing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.  While most eruptions occur beneath the planet-wide ice sheets, their emissions still filter up into the atmosphere.  The end result is a slow but steady global warming that finally reaches a tipping point.  In only a few tens of thousands of years, the Huronian snowball phase ends, and the Earth thaws.

1.85 billion years ago:  The earliest eukaryotic cells appear on the Earth, most likely evolved from prokaryotes engulfing one another via phagocytosis.  As the eukaryotic and prokaryotic lines diverge, bacteriophages emerge and develop as well.  With environmental conditions favoring the spread of life, these will all evolve and prosper.

1.430 billion years ago:  The earliest forms of multicellular life to possess fungus-like traits appear.  These benthic organisms had filamentous structures, with septa, and were capable of anastomosis.  It is not known whether or not they were truly ancestral fungi, or if they were a separate branch of life.


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The ArcBuilder Universe is a science fiction project established, authored, and copyrighted ©
by John M. Dollan 2002-2016
This page first uploaded in February 10, 2016
Most recent update for this page February 10, 2016