The first mosses developed approximately 350 million years ago and have been around longer than conifers and flowering plants; they have since diversified into approximately 10,000 species. Most mosses prefer dark and moist places to grow and can often be found on logs or under shrubs in wooded areas. These small plants start out as spores, carried by the wind until they land in a suitable area. Once there, these spores produce rhizoids, small root-like organs that reach into the surface and anchor the plant to a spot. Once the plant is set in place, it begins to grow shoots that eventually open up and release more reproductive spores. Mosses are regarded as a transitional plant, since they retain chemical similarities to their ancestral water-bound algae while producing physical characteristics of later land plants.