To: All Jan1794 09:38AM Subject: Geological/Evolutionary Timeline ASCII VERSION Geological

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From: William N. Brandt To: All Jan-17-94 09:38AM Subject: Geological/Evolutionary Timeline - ASCII VERSION Organization: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena From: brandt@cco.caltech.edu (William N. Brandt) Message-ID: <2heiet$d3j@gap.cco.caltech.edu> Newsgroups: talk.origins -------------------------------------------- Geological/Evolutionary Timeline Version 0.0 -------------------------------------------- This is an ASCII copy of a geological/evolutionary timeline that I have been making. I would be grateful for factual, spelling, and grammar corrections. I would be grateful for suggestions as to how to better word specific entries so as to make them clearer. I am also keen to add interesting events to the timeline and would appreciate suggestions. Please send any comments/suggestions/corrections to me via email. Thank you, Niel Brandt brandt@sandman.caltech.edu EVOLUTIONARY/GEOLOGICAL TIMELINE Time (m.y.a.) Event 4600 Formation of the approximately homogeneous solid Earth by planetesimal accretion 4300 Melting of the Earth due to radioactive and gravitational heating which leads to its differentiated interior structure as well as outgassing of molecules such as water, methane, ammonia, hydrogen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide 4300 Atmospheric water is photodissociated by ultraviolet light to give oxygen atoms which are incorporated into an ozone layer and hydrogen molecules which escape into space 4000 Bombardment of the Earth by planetesimals stops 3800 The Earth's crust solidifies---formation of the oldest rocks found on Earth 3800 Condensation of atmospheric water into oceans 3500--2800 Prokaryotic cell organisms develop 3500--2800 Beginning of photosynthesis by blue-green algae which releases oxygen molecules into the atmosphere and steadily works to strengthen the ozone layer and change the Earth's chemically reducing atmosphere into a chemically oxidizing one 2000 The Oklo natural fission reactor in Gabon goes into operation 1500 Eukaryotic cell organisms develop 1500--600 Rise of multicellular organisms 550 Cambrian explosion of hard-bodied organisms 545 Fossilization of the Chengjiang site 530 Fossilization of the Burgess Shale 500--450 Rise of the fish---first vertebrates 430 Waxy coated algae begin to live on land 420 Millipedes have evolved---first land animals 375 The Appalachian mountains are formed via a plate tectonic collision between North America, Africa, and Europe 375 Appearance of primitive sharks 350--300 Rise of the amphibians 350 Primitive insects have evolved 350 Primitive ferns evolve---first plants with roots 300--200 Rise of the reptiles 300 Winged insects have evolved 280 Beetles and weevils have evolved 250 Permian period mass extinction 230 Roaches and termites have evolved 225 Modern ferns have evolved 225 Bees have evolved 200 Pangaea starts to break apart 200 Primitive crocodiles have evolved 200 Appearance of mammals 145 Archaeopteryx walks the Earth 136 Primitive kangaroos have evolved 100 Primitive cranes have evolved 90 Modern sharks have evolved 65 K-T Boundary---extinction of the dinosaurs and beginning of the reign of mammals 60 Rats, mice, and squirrels have evolved 60 Herons and storks have evolved 55 Rabbits and hares have evolved 50 Primitive monkeys have evolved 28 Koalas have evolved 20 Parrots and pigeons have evolved 20--12 The chimpanzee and hominid lines evolve 10--4 Ramapithecus exist 4 Development of hominid bipedalism 4--1 Australopithecus exist 3.5 The Australopithecus Lucy walks the Earth 2 Widespread use of stone tools 1.6--0.2 Homo erectus exist 1--0.5 Homo erectus tames fire 0.3 Geminga supernova explosion---roughly as bright as the moon 0.2--0.03 Homo sapiens neanderthalensis exist 0.075--0.010 Most recent ice age---an ice sheet covers much of the northern United States 0.05--0 Homo sapiens exist 0.04--0.012 Homo sapiens enter Australia from southeastern Asia and North America from northeastern Asia 0.02 Homo sapiens paint the Altamira Cave 0.012 Homo sapiens have domesticated dogs in Kirkuk, Iraq 0.01 First permanent homo sapien settlements 0.01 Homo sapiens learn to use fire to cast copper and harden pottery 0.006 Writing is developed in Sumeria Paleozoic age ``Ancient life'' 550--510 Cambrian period 510--438 Ordovician period 438--410 Silurian period 410--355 Devonian period 355--290 Carboniferous period 290--250 Permian period Mesozoic age ``Middle Life'' 250--205 Triassic period 205--135 Jurassic period 135--65 Cretaceous period Cenozoic age ``Recent Life'' Tertiary period 65--55 Paleocene epoch 55--38 Eocene epoch 38--26 Oligocene epoch 26--6 Miocene epoch 6--1.8 Pliocene epoch Quaternary period 1.8--0.01 Pleistocene epoch 0.01--0 Holocene epoch

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