The Ectasian

It is really interesting and equally exciting to find our earth in a completely different image. If you go back to billions of years, you will find that the Earth was like a mass devoid of life. It was full of rocks, water and land and often suffered from massive volcanic activities. It takes really a long time to get its present form full with lively activities of humans and animals. Flora and fauna, rocks, mountains, seas, rivers, insects, extinct species all left their evidences and now become the fossils of the past. Many of the major in life forms have evolved into their modern day relatives while a large number had also suffered from extinction. Geological features too suffered from the same phase. Many of the age old geological features still exist in their advanced form while some suffered from destruction due to natural process. The process of development and evolution is really interesting. The periods in which these developments took place have found a significant place in the map of the world. One of those important periods is the Ectasian period. It is the subdivision of the Mesoproterozoic Era.

Ectasian period: The second period of the Mesoproterozoic Era and the period of platform cover extension
This period lasted from 1.4 billion to 1.2 billion years ago and denotes the extension of platform covers. As the Calymmian Period mainly refers the development of platform covers this period is the time of expansion of those covers. In this period continental landmasses had undergone consequent enlargement and thickening. Due to their growth continents also drifted away and this process continued till the mid of this period. Drifting of continents again started from the next and third period of the Mesoproterozoic Era, the Stenian period.
Ectasian period: The period of first sexual reproduction
Do you know about the first sexual reproduction and when it took place? It is in this period when the first sexual reproduction had taken place, of course, according to evidences. The microfossils of Bangiomorpha pubescens, had proved this fact. Even, the Hunting Formation, which is 1.2 billion years old, dated back to this period and contains these microfossils which support the fact of the first sexual reproduction.

Bangiomorpha pubescens: A short note
These are a type of red algae and known to be the first organism exhibiting sexual reproduction. These organisms are also among the complex multicellularity and sexual reproduction is an essential feature of these organisms. Another interesting fact about these multicellular organisms is that these organisms cannot exist if reproduction means copying of one cell to itself. Instead, they need sexual reproduction to exist. The gametes need that ability of developing into an organism. Hence it can be said that the true multicellularity is the marker of sexual reproduction.
So, a quick recall of the major features of this Ectasian period

  • It is the second period of the Mesoproterozoic Era
  • Major extension of platform covers took in this period
  • It is also the period of first sexual reproduction