Near the city of Dalian in Liaoning province (China) discovered the fossilised remains of an extremely ancient algae. They are the same species Proterocladus antiquus and have the age of a little over 1 billion years, making them at once 200 million years older than previous record holder. This discovery further extends the temporal boundaries of the existence of plant life on Earth and confronts scientists with new questions.

Science, of course, I wonder when the first fish is landed, or when their descendants began to climb the trees to become the ancestors of the people. But even more interesting – when did the trees, grass and other vegetation. It is known that about 450 million years ago there was a “green boom” and the number of plants has increased dramatically – but that was before that?

For example, scientists still don’t know how the process of migration protracting from one environment to another. Whether it was a rapid evolutionary jump from an ancient ocean once on land, or the plants are moved first in freshwater, and from there made it to shore? There is a version that the algae whose remains were found in China, initially originated in the warm shallow water of fresh, there were in the ocean, but because of the aggressiveness of the environment has evolved in ground-dwelling species.

To study the fossils is difficult, they are the size of only 2 mm, but they are in the layer, which by far was previously the seabed. That is, for half a billion years before the appearance of vegetation on land, it is already abundantly grows in the ocean. If so, then the algae may well be the most ancient common ancestor of all plants on the planet.
Source — Virginia Tech