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OLP 4: The ocean makes Earth habitable

<p><strong>Fig. 1.5.</strong> OLP 4. Tubeworms, anemones, and mussels colonize near a low-temperature hydrothermal vent. Early life forms on earth may have evolved near hydrothermal vents like this one 3.5 billion years ago.</p><br />

Life started in the ocean. The millions of different species of organisms on Earth today are related by descent from common ancestors that evolved in the ocean (Fig. 1.5). The accumulation of oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere through photosynthesis was necessary for life to develop and be sustained on land.


OLP 4.A

Most of the oxygen in the atmosphere originally came from the activities of photosynthetic organisms in the ocean. This accumulation of oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere was necessary for life to develop and be sustained on land.

OLP 4.B

The ocean is the cradle of life; the earliest evidence of life is found in the ocean. The millions of different species of organisms on Earth today are related by descent from common ancestors that evolved in the ocean and continue to evolve today.

OLP 4.C

The ocean provided, and continues to provide, water, oxygen, and nutrients and moderates the climate needed for life to exist on Earth.

Representative Image: 
Exploring Our Fluid Earth, a product of the Curriculum Research & Development Group (CRDG), College of Education. University of Hawaii, 2011. This document may be freely reproduced and distributed for non-profit educational purposes.