Long ago, roughly a billion years ago, the super continent Rodinia emerged. Much like Pangea (which many seem to know more about), Rodinia was the compilation of many continents, gathered around the equator of the planet.
The massive super continent brought about great changes to the planet. It stripped the atmosphere of its warming gases, and its orbital cycles created a cool freezing affect. Its massive size disrupting oceanic circulation.
Eventually, around 800 million years ago the entire planet froze over in a massive sheet of ice a mile high.
But it wouldnt last forever. The rifts in Rodinia eventually pushed its pieces apart. The vulcanism from within it warmed the planet and gases re entered the atmosphere. As continents moved away from the equator, their reflectivity was less effective at cooling the planet. And so, the majority of ice retreated, leaving a new warm temperate environment.
The newly rifted supercontinent had at this point increased surface area from its rifting and created great warm temperate havens for the first complex lifeforms to explode in population on earth. This occurred around 600 million years ago with the ediacara biota and the ensuing cambrian explosion.
And thats about it . And so, in a general way, here we have the story of the first complex life on earth.
My wording isnt exactly perfect, but if anyone is interested in particular details feel free to ask, likewise if anyone is familiar with this material and is interested in pointing out potential errors in my translation from research to general story telling, feel free to speak up.
Alrighty, adios all.
Edited by iSilurian, 24 June 2011 - 11:02 PM.