In the novel, The Good Earth, Pearl S.

From the Permian extinction’s devastation arose a reptilian sheep called . Fossil hunters of early Triassic sediments have been frustrated for many years, as nearly are , because it was about the Permian extinction’s only land animal survivor. There has been about why it survived when almost nothing else did. No single animal ever dominated Earth’s land masses as thoroughly as did during the early Triassic. was probably a burrower (many have likened to a pig because of that burrowing), which may have provided the shelter needed to survive the Permian holocaust. It may also have been a and could eat most surviving plants. But some think that its survival, when almost every other species died, was due to luck. Luck is a surprisingly common proposed explanation for evolutionary events and outcomes, and some creatures seemed to be in the right place at the right time while others were in the wrong place at the wrong time. The spread of was also aided by two other facts: the land masses , so could simply walk to dominance of Earth; and few predators capable of eating a survived. One (being semi-aquatic may have also helped species survive the Permian extinction), as did , but not much else did. was a , as were the dominant land animals before the Permian extinction.

The change in climate on planet Earth is called ‘global warming’.

Also Earth is the only planet that its name didn’t come from Greek/Roman mythology.

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The invasion of North America from Asia (with a little migration from North America to Asia), while important, was not as dramatic as what happened in Africa a few million years later. About 24 mya, Africa and the attached Arabian Peninsula began colliding with Eurasia. The once-vast Tethys Ocean had finally been reduced to a strait between the continents, and one of Earth’s most dramatic mammalian migrations began. By about 18 mya, proboscidean had migrated from Africa and they reached North America by 16.5 mya. An left Africa but stayed in Asia. As with the North American interchange with Asia, however, the greater change came the other way. Rodents, deer, cattle, antelope, pigs, rhinos, giraffes, dogs (including the ), and cats came over, along with small insectivores and shrews. Most of the iconic large fauna of today’s African plains originated from elsewhere, particularly Asia. Asian animals invaded and dominated Europe and Africa, and became abundant in North America. In general, Asia had more diverse biomes and was the largest continent, so it developed the most competitive animals. That principle, which Darwin remarked on, became very evident when the British invaded Australia in the 18th century: imports such as rabbits and foxes quickly prevailed, and . The most important Miocene development for humans was African primate development, but that is a subject for a later chapter.

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In recent years, Neogene temperatures have been the focus of intensive research. What appears to be the proximate cause of elevated temperatures was a dramatic change in global ocean currents. The final closing of the , the isolation of Antarctica, the creation of , and the opening and closing of land bridges, such as in the Bering Sea and ultimately the land bridge between North and South America, created dramatic changes in ocean currents and global climate. One result was fluctuating . Its production declined beginning about 24 mya, and its weakness lasted until about 14 mya. Consequently, Earth’s oceans were not stratified as they are today, and warm water extended far lower into the oceans than it does today. Also, it reduced the temperature gradient between the equator and poles, which drives global currents: the greater the differential, the more vigorous the currents. It was still an Icehouse Earth, but the “mid-Miocene climatic optimum” was relatively warm. The past three million years are the coldest that Earth has seen since the that ended 260 mya, but this . While the steadily declining carbon dioxide levels of the past 150-100 million years is the ultimate cause of this Icehouse Earth phase, relatively short-term and regional fluctuations have had their proximate causes rooted in other geophysical, geochemical, and celestial dynamics.

Such planets follow most expectations of being a possible proxy to Earth.
With the above limitations acknowledged, this essay will explore the earthly journeys of life and humanity, and energy’s role in them.

Tomorrow is my speech on mother earth and I learn your essay

On numerous fronts, humanity is staring into the abyss, primarily due to our energy practices. The USA's and may be seen by future historians, if there are any, as the , as humanity fights over Earth's last remaining high-EROI energy resources. One of Einstein’s was, “I do not know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” Maybe some of us survive that holocaust and the . Maybe we will avoid fighting over hydrocarbons, but the oceans will rise as climate changes more dramatically and billions are displaced. That will trigger global famine and a different kind of World War III, as nations fight over food (and maybe water), not oil. can drive people to drink and worse. Humanity stands on the chasm’s edge today, and hardly any people know or care, as their immediate self-interest marks the limit of their awareness. It has always been this way, when people are just trying to survive and deaden the pain of their existences. The intense denial reactions that Brian encountered when he played the were standard.

Buck's The Good Earth depicts the journey of a Chinese farmer and his family in the early twentieth century.

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The view of dinosaurian intelligence has also changed radically in the past generation, as evidence has been discovered that some dinosaurs were significantly (particularly the ), as well as evidence for , and . Dinosaurs had the first hands, even with . Recent work on encephalization suggests that animals were well on their way toward human-level encephalization hundreds of millions of years ago, and were prevented from attaining it far earlier, , due to the Permian extinction. The world might be populated with sentient, civilized, and even space-faring reptiles today if events had played out slightly differently, such as that asteroid missing Earth 66 mya (or technologically advanced dinosaurs preventing its impact).

When there are changes that alter the natural affects of Earth’s environment there are factors that places the environment at risk.

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So far in this essay, mammals have received scant attention, but the mammals’ development before the Cenozoic is important for understanding their rise to dominance. The , called , first , about 260 mya, and they had key mammalian characteristics. Their jaws and teeth were markedly different from those of other reptiles; their teeth were specialized for more thorough chewing, which extracts more energy from food, and that was likely a key aspect of success more than 100 million years later. Cynodonts also developed a secondary palate so that they could chew and breathe at the same time, which was more energy efficient. Cynodonts eventually ceased the reptilian practice of continually growing and shedding teeth, and their specialized and precisely fitted teeth rarely changed. Mammals replace their teeth a . Along with tooth changes, jawbones changed roles. Fewer and stronger bones anchored the jaw, which allowed for stronger jaw musculature and led to the mammalian (clench your teeth and you can feel your masseter muscle). Bones previously anchoring the jaw were no longer needed and . The jaw’s rearrangement led to the most auspicious proto-mammalian development: . Mammals had relatively large brains from the very beginning and it was probably initially . Mammals are the only animals with a , which eventually led to human intelligence. As dinosaurian dominance drove mammals to the margins, where they lived underground and emerged to feed at night, mammals needed improved senses to survive, and auditory and olfactory senses heightened, as did the mammalian sense of touch. Increased processing of stimuli required a larger brain, and . In humans, only livers use more energy than brains. Cynodonts also had , which suggest that they were warm-blooded. Soon after the Permian extinction, a cynodont appeared that may have ; it was another respiratory innovation that served it well in those low-oxygen times, functioning like pump gills in aquatic environments.