These are the most common types of Gaian worlds that can be found. Oceans and an active geology are common, and life is prolific. However, it is that life, more than any other factor, which determines the nature of the ArchaeoGaian Type planet.
As far as age, these planets tend to range from 2.3 to 4.1 billion years in age, although there is a great deal of latitude here. But it is the life which defines the planet Type. Life is typically primitive, although it may range from mono to multicellular forms. Some of the more advanced forms may even be aerobic in nature, supplying a slow and small, but steady stream of oxygen into an otherwise carbon dioxide and nitrogen rich atmosphere. Regardless, all forms of life are extremely small and restricted to watery environments. Often times this life manifests itself in the form of larger colonial structures, similar to algae mats or Stromatolites found on Earth.
The terrestrial regions of the planet, however, are quite barren, especially when compared to the relatively life-rich oceans and seas. The advancement of life into terrestrial biomes almost always marks a true Gaian world, where the atmosphere is rich in sustaining oxygen. ArchaeoGaian worlds, on the other hand, have rocky and sandy continents, marked with fantastical erosional monuments and braided rivers. Without the presence of stabilizing vegetation, the land can be ever changing and often times quite dangerous.
Nevertheless, this is the first type of planet that can be viewed as a "blue marble", a true habitable planet as far as Humans are concerned. The atmosphere has cleared with the geological reduction of methane and the dominance of water in the atmosphere. Active weather systems leave great white swirls visible from orbit, while the oceans shine blue in the sunlight. While the surface may not be completely conducive to unaided habitation, from orbit these planets typically appear quite beautiful.
Though primitive, ArchaeoGaian worlds are true blue marble planets (image courtesy Don Edwards).
The barren surface of an ArchaeoGaian Type world belies the blue and white beauty that can be seen from orbit.
The Beginning of Life: These worlds hold the root of all future life forms that will occur on these planets.
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