How a Single-Celled Organism Paved the Way for Complex Life on Earth by Killing Almost Everything

A TED-Ed lesson by molecular biologist Anusuya Willis explains how cyanobacteria paved the way for complex organisms by killing almost all life on Earth in the planet’s first mass extinction event.

There’s an organism that changed the world. It caused the first mass extinction in Earth’s history … and also paved the way for complex life. How? Anusuya Willis explains how cyanobacteria, simple organisms that don’t even have nuclei or any other organelles, wrote a pivotal chapter in the story of life on Earth.