The early evolution of eukaryotes: a geological perspective

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Science  01 May 1992:
Vol. 256, Issue 5057, pp. 622-627
DOI: 10.1126/science.1585174


Molecular phylogenies of eukaryotic organisms imply patterns of biological and environmental history that can be tested against the geological record. As predicted by sequence comparisons, Precambrian rocks show evidence of episodic increases in biological diversity and atmospheric oxygen concentrations. Nonetheless, complete integration of the two records remains elusive and may require that the earliest macroscopic organisms be recognized as extinct experiments in eukaryotic multicellularity.

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