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The evolution of complex and higher organismsThe evolution of Phanerozoic life has probably been influenced by extraterrestrial events and properties of the Earth-Moon system that have not, until now, been widely recognized. Tide range, gravitational strength, the Earth's axial tilt, and other planetary properties provide background conditions whose effects on evolution may be difficult to distinguish. Solar flares, asteroid impacts, supernovae, and passage of the solar system through galactic clouds can provide catastrophic changes on the Earth with consequent characteristic extinctions. Study of the fossil record and the evolution of complex Phanerozoic life can reveal evidence of past disturbances in space near the Earth. Conversely, better understanding of environmental influences caused by extraterrestrial factors and properties of the solar system can clarify aspects of evolution, and may aid in visualizing life on other planets with different properties.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Milne, D.
(Evergreen State Coll. Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Raup, D.
(Chicago Univ. Ithaca, N.Y., United States)
Billingham, J.
(NASA Ames Research Center Berkeley, United States)
Niklaus, K.
(Cornell Univ.)
Padian, K.
(California Univ.)
Date Acquired
September 5, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1985
Subject Category
Life Sciences (General)
Report/Patent Number
NAS 1.21:478
Accession Number
Funding Number(s)
PROJECT: RTOP 199-50-52-06
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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