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BiologyLiverworts are part of the lower order of the plant kingdom, and are thought to be amongst some of the most ancient of plants surviving on the planet. Bryophytes, as a group, are believed to date back to at least the period called the Devonian, 350-400 million years ago, and possibly even further back to the Silurian. Liverworts, like mosses, do not have conventional roots. They are closely allied to mosses and, indeed, some species resemble mosses and were classified as such until more was known about liverworts in general. Marsh earwort appears to grow over and amongst Sphagnum mosses in its mire habitat, and seems to prefer level ground. Because of its close resemblance to Odontoschisma, it may have been under-recorded in the past, but a survey in 1996 showed it was present on 96 Sphagnum hummocks at its Argyll site.