But the Great Oxidation Event didn’t occur until 500 million years later:
If that transition did occur about 3 billion years ago, it suggests oxygen-using organisms didn’t immediately sweep across the planet. Rather, the ability to use oxygen likely evolved in small pockets that slowly spread over hundreds of millions of years. And only when they became abundant enough did these organisms modify Earth’s environment enough to produce enough oxygen to lead to the Great Oxidation Event. “I feel like an archaeologist that is opening a grave for the first time,” Tawfik says.Robert F. Service, “The first organism to use oxygen may have appeared surprisingly early” at Science
Sounds like the unfolding of a plan, actually.
The paper is closed access.