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Warm Up 1/17/08. What important event in animal evolution marks the beginning of the Cambrian? a. the ability to fly b. the ability to swim c. the appearance of fossils d. the appearance of hard parts What event may have triggered the great Paleozoic extinction?

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Warm Up 1/17/08

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Warm up 1 17 08

Warm Up 1/17/08

  • What important event in animal evolution marks the beginning of the Cambrian?

    a. the ability to fly

    b. the ability to swim

    c. the appearance of fossils

    d. the appearance of hard parts

  • What event may have triggered the great Paleozoic extinction?

    a. climatic change

    b. heightened solar activity

    c. meteorite strike

    d. changes in Earth’s orbit

  • The Paleozoic era lasted about ____.

    a. 2 billion yearsc. 2 million years

    b. 292 million yearsd. 29 million years

    Answers: 1) d. 2) a. 3) b.

Cenozoic era age of mammals

Cenozoic Era:Age of Mammals

Chapter 13, Section 4

Cenozoic era

Cenozoic Era

  • The Cenozoic era, or “era of recent life,” encompasses the past 65 million years of Earth history

  • It is during this span that the physical landscapes and life forms of our modern world came into being

  • The Cenozoic era is shorter than the other eras, but it possesses a rich history because of the completeness of the geological record improves as time approaches the present

  • The Cenozoic era is divided into two periods of very unequal duration, the Tertiary period (63 million years) and the Quaternary period (2 million years)

Cenozoic north america

Cenozoic North America

  • Most of North America was above sea level throughout the Cenozoic era

  • The Atlantic and Gulf coastal regions were far removed from an active plate boundary, so they were tectonically stable

  • Plate interactions during the Cenozoic caused many events of mountain building, volcanism, and earthquakes in the West

Sierra nevada mountains

Sierra Nevada Mountains

Topographic relief map of u s

Topographic Relief Map of U.S.

Cenozoic life

Cenozoic Life

  • Mammals replaced reptiles as the dominant land animals

  • The Cenozoic is often called the “age of mammals” because land mammals came to dominate land life

  • It could also be called the “age of flowering plants” because angiosperms came to dominance

  • Angiosperms—flowering plants with covered seed—replaced gymnosperms as the dominant land plants

  • The advances in seed fertilization and dispersal allowed angiosperms to experience a development and expansion as the Mesozoic came to a close

  • Development of flowering plants strongly influenced the evolution of birds and mammals



Mammals replace reptiles

Mammals Replace Reptiles

  • Back in the Mesozoic, an important evolutionary event was the appearance of primitive mammals in the late Triassic, about the same time that the dinosaurs evolved

  • Because mammals are warm-blooded, they could survive in cold regions and search for food during any season or time of day; they also adapted insulating body hair and more efficient lungs and hearts

  • These adaptations allow mammals to lead more active lives than reptiles

  • Their development and specialization took 4 principal directions: (1) increase in size, (2) increase in brain capacity, (3) specialization of teeth to fit certain diets, (4) specialization of limbs to particular environments

La brea tar pits

La Brea Tar Pits

Concept check

Concept Check

  • What adaptations caused mammals to be successful?

  • Mammals are warm-blooded, so they could survive in cold regions. They also have developed insulating body hair and more efficient hearts and lungs.

Large mammals and extinction

Large Mammals and Extinction

  • Some groups of mammals became very large

  • Many large forms of mammals were common as recently as 11,000 years ago; however, a wave of late Pleistocene extinctions rapidly eliminated these animals from the landscape

  • In North America, the mastodon and mammoth, both huge relatives of the elephant became extinct; as well as saber-toothed cats, giant beavers, large ground sloths, horses, camels, giant bison, and some others

  • Some scientists believe that early humans hurried the decline of these animals by selectively hunting large forms

Large mammals

Large Mammals



  • Read Chapter 13, Section 4 (pg. 382-384)

  • Do Section 13.4 Assessment #1-6 (pg. 384)

  • Study for Chapter 13 Quiz!!!

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