We found the genes that allowed plants to colonize land 500 million years ago
The world 500 million years ago looked very different to today. The land was bare, with only bacteria, fungi and algae able to survive on it. Everything else lived in the ocean, but once plants moved onto land, they changed almost everything on Earth's surface. They helped to create soils, rivers and the oxygen-rich atmosphere, which eventually allowed animals to live a life out of water.