Photosynthesis: the chemical process by which plants that contain chlorophyll use light to convert carbon dioxide and water into sugar, releasing oxygen as a byproduct.
Light energy + CO2 + H2O + chlorophyll = glucose (sugar) + oxygen
Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae): a single cell organism that lived in the oceans, and whose fossils were found 3.1 billion years old. This organism was able to do photosynthesis and was the first producer. The importance of this organism is that it eventually changed the toxic atmosphere of the early earth to an oxygen rich atmosphere that allowed for the evolution of all the oxygen consuming organisms that exist today.
The Burgess Shale is an area in the western Canadian Rocky Mountains discovered in 1909 by Charles D. Walcott and named for a nearby mountain, Mount Burgess. Because during the Cambrian geologic period, more than half a billion years ago, this area was under an ocean, the fossils of many sea animals have been found there. Because the animals, now fossilized in the Burgess Shale, were buried in an underwater avalanche of fine mud, they have been preserved in amazing detail. Many of them appear to be early ancestors of higher forms of life, while others appear unrelated to any forms on record since. The Burgess Shale is the best proof for the Cambrian explosion of life during the early Paleozoic Era.