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Green Algae

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stromatolite
© 0 Ron Stanwood

Receptaculites
Receptaculites
© 2003 P.J. Noble, University of Nevada, Reno

What are Green Algae? Green algae belong to the group Chlorophyta, named for the green pigment (chlorophyll) these protists use to photosynthesize. This is the same green pigment used by plants. Both unicellular and multicellular forms can be found in marine and freshwater environments. The fossil record of green algae may extend back into the Precambrian, with fossils of freshwater chlorophytes from Australia. Dasycladacean green algae first appear in the Cambrian, while other types of green algae make their first appearances in the fossil record throughout the Phanerozoic.

First known fossil occurrence: Precambrian.

Last known fossil occurrence: Quaternary. This group has living relatives.

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