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Life during Snowball Earth
Riedman, Leigh Anne Department of Earth Science, University of California, Santa Barbara, California.
- Glaciation and thaw
- Cryogenian biosphere
- Direct fossil evidence
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Several lines of evidence indicate that Earth in the Cryogenian Period [approximately 720–635 million years ago (MYA)] experienced at least two global glaciations during which glaciers grew at sea level at the Equator. The term Snowball Earth is used to describe the Earth during these glaciation events. Several of the major biological groups that are present today had evolved by this time, so at least some of Earth's biota survived. However, the low biological diversity during and between those glacial events as well as the number of apparent extinctions suggest that the biosphere experienced severe stress.
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