Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-16-2018, 04:03 PM
Steven Estes Steven Estes is offline
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 131
First organism large enough to be seen by human eye (if there were humans then)

In the four billion years of the evolution of life, what was the first organism large enough to be seen by the naked human eye (if there had been human beings then,)
If the answer is something like coral, what is the first not an accumulation...
Old 02-16-2018, 04:12 PM
Darren Garrison's Avatar
Darren Garrison Darren Garrison is offline
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 8,858
If you allow for a colonial/collective organism, stromatolites. If a single multicellular organism, possibly something ancestral to one of these weirdos.
Old 02-16-2018, 04:19 PM
Colibri's Avatar
Colibri Colibri is offline
SD Curator of Critters
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Panama
Posts: 40,606
Impossible to know, since the first organisms large enough to see would have been soft bodied and would not have left fossils. However, the first macroscopic fossils of single organisms seem to date to about 2.1 billion years ago. However, they are just smudges of carbon that don't really reveal what kind of organisms made them.

Stromatolites go back about 3.7 billion years ago, but these represent mats of cyanobacteria (blue-green "algae") and not single organisms.
Old 02-18-2018, 01:51 PM
MrDibble's Avatar
MrDibble MrDibble is offline
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Cape Town, South Africa &
Posts: 24,121
The first complex multicellular life we know of for certain is the Ediacara fauna. 600 Ma.
Old 02-22-2018, 10:24 PM
GuanoLad's Avatar
GuanoLad GuanoLad is online now
Charter Member
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Where the wild roses grow
Posts: 24,374
David Attenborough made a documentary series called First Life that you might gain some knowledge from.
Old 02-23-2018, 02:08 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: my Herkimer Battle Jitney
Posts: 79,439
Obligatory Far Side reference:


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:15 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to:

Send comments about this website to:

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

Copyright © 2017