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The Geological Time Scale

The Geological Time Scale

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The Geological Time Scale

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  1. The Geological Time Scale

  2. Geological Time Scale Booklet Front Cover Geological Time Scale Name • You will be exploring four different periods of Earth’s history. Era Explorer Cenozoic Mesozoic Paleozoic Precambrian

  3. Era Explorer Page You must include: 1. Which era are you traveling to? 2. Why you choose this time? (Interesting/exciting) 3. What will you bring so you can safely travel throughout the land/water? (machines , equipment, tools) * Include a picture of your journey.*

  4. Geological Time Scale Book • You will be exploring four different periods of Earth’s history: • Precambrian / Paleozoic / Mesozoic / Cenozoic • Each of your booklet pages must include: • time frame (from when to when – how many years ago) • Description of biological changes that occurred • Description of geological changes that occurred • Total of at least 6 changes per time period (page) • Your notes and pgs. 342-353 may help with your exploration.

  5. Geological Time Research • Read Chapter 8 sections 4 - 6 • Pages 335 – 353 • Look carefully at the pictures and diagrams throughout the reading. • Now, lets fill in our booklet.

  6. Major Biological and Geological Events in Earth’s History

  7. What is the Earth’s time scale? • The Geological time scale is a record of the life forms and geological events in Earth’s history. • Scientists developed the time scale by studying rock layers and fossils world wide. • Radioactive dating helped determine the absolute divisions in the time scale.


  9. Divisions of Geologic Time • Eras are subdivided into periods...periods are subdivided into epochs. Era Period Epoch E + P = EP

  10. FOUR Eras… • PRECAMBRIAN – 88% of earth’s history • Paleozoic (ancient life) • 544 million years ago…lasted 300 million years • Mesozoic (middle life) • 245 million years ago…lasted 180 million years • Cenozoic (recent life) • 65 million years ago…continues through present day

  11. Divisions of Geologic Time • Geological time begins with Precambrian Time. Precambrian time covers approximately 88% of Earth’s history.

  12. Precambrian Era • 5 major events occurred during this era: • The formation of the Sun and light. • The creation of the Earth. • The creation of the atmosphere through volcanic out-gassing. • The creation of the oceans. • The creation of life.

  13. Precambrian Era • The Precambrian Era is Earth's first era of time. It began with the creation of the Earth around 4.6 billion years ago. • Began with simple life forms such as bacteria and simple algae. • There was a rise of simple organisms such as jellyfish and sea worms by the end of the era. • Few fossils because the life forms were soft-bodied and had no hard skeleton.

  14. Paleozoic Era (Ancient Life) • The Cambrian period is the 1st period of the Paleozoic Era. “Age of the Trilobites” • Explosion of life in the oceans began during this era. • Most of the continents were covered in warm, shallow seas. • Invertebrates were dominate - Trilobites • Fish emerged during this time • Fish led to the arrival of amphibians • The end of the Paleozoic era is called the “Age of Amphibians” • Early land plants including mosses, ferns and cone-bearing plants. • The early coal forming forests were also formed during this time.

  15. Trilobites • Lived in Earth’s ancient seas • Extinct before the dinosaurs came into existence • Cambrian Period is know as the “Age of the Trilobites”

  16. Paleozoic Era • Much of the limestone quarried for building and industrial purposes, as well as the coal deposits of western Europe and the eastern United States, were formed during the Paleozoic. • The Cambrian (beginning) opened with the breakup of the world-continent Rodinia and closed with the formation of Pangaea, as the Earth's continents came together once again. • This event is thought to have caused the climate changes that led to mass extinction event. • The Appalachian mountains were formed during this time.

  17. Paleozoic Era • At the end of the Paleozoic, the largest mass extinction in history wiped out approximately 90% of all marine animal species and 70% of land animals. • Possible causes of this Mass Extinction Event • Lowering of sea levels when the continents were rejoined as Pangaea (convergent boundary) • Increased volcanic activity (ash and dust) • Climate changes – cooler climate

  18. Brachiopods • Marine animals that resemble clams.

  19. Early Fish Early fish did not have jaws. Some species of sharks were in existence at this time.

  20. Frilled Shark that was found in Japan in January 2007. This shark was considered a “living fossil”

  21. Early Land Plants Mosses Cone bearing plants Ferns

  22. Mesozoic Era – Middle Life • At the beginning of this era the continents were joined as Pangaea. • Pangaea broke up around the middle of this era. • Reptiles became the most abundant animals because of their ability to adapt to the drier climate of the Mesozoic Era. • Skin maintains body fluids • Embryos live in shells

  23. Mesozoic Era • Dinosaurs were also very active in this era. • First small dinosaurs appeared in the Triassic Period. • Larger and more abundant dinosaurs appeared in the Jurassic Period. • Small mammals and birds also appeared during this era. • The mammals were small, warm-blooded animals. Hair covering their bodies. • These characteristics help them survive in changing environments.

  24. Mesozoic Era • The main plant life of this time were Gymnosperms or plants that produce seeds, but no flowers. • Pine Trees • Flowering plants appeared during the END of this era.

  25. Mesozoic Era • This era ended with a mass extinction event about 65 million years ago. • Many groups of animals, including the dinosaurs disappeared suddenly at this time. • Many scientists believe that this event was caused by a comet or asteroid colliding with the Earth.

  26. Mesozoic Era – Mass Extinction Event • Asteroid or Comet collides with Earth. • Huge cloud of smoke and dust fills the air • Blocks out sunlight • Plants die • Animals that eat plants die • Animals that eat plant-eaters die. • However, not all forms of life died during this event. Many animals that you see today are descendants from the survivors of this extinction event.

  27. Dinosaurs

  28. Mesozoic Reptiles

  29. Mesozoic Mammals

  30. Mesozoic Plants Flowering plants evolved towards the end of the Mesozoic Era.

  31. Cenozoic Era – Recent Life • Began about 65 million years ago and continues today!!!!! • Climate was warm and mild. • Marine animals such as whales and dolphins evolved. • Mammals began to increase and evolve adaptations that allowed them to live in many different environments – land, air and the sea. • Grasses increased and provided a food source for grazing animals • Many mountain ranges formed during the Cenozoic Era • Alps in Europe and Himalayas in India; Rocky Mountains in the USA

  32. Cenozoic Era • Growth of these mountains may have helped to cool down the climate • Ice Ages occurred late in the Cenozoic Era (Quaternary Period). • As the climate changed, the animals had to adapt to the rise and fall of the oceans caused by melting glaciers. • This era is sometimes called the “Age of Mammals”

  33. Cenozoic Era • Marine animal examples: • Algae, Mollusks, Fish and Mammals • Land animal examples: • Bats, Cats, Dogs, Cattle and Humans • Humans are thought to have appeared around 3.5 million years ago (during the most recent period – Quaternary). • Flowering plants were now the most common plant life.

  34. Cenozoic Mammals

  35. Flowering Plants were common during the Cenozoic Era

  36. Today… • Today we are in the Holocene Epoch of the Quaternary Period of the Cenozoic Era. Which unit is the largest? Which unit is the smallest?

  37. Class Videos • Discovery Ed : 30 minutes: Black line Masters Historical Geology: A Glimpse of the Earth's Past • Brainpop: Geologic Time: • Flocabulary: Earth History

  38. Videos • Fossils: • • Earth’s History: • • MSB: Busassaurus: •

  39. National Geographic: •