Prehistoric Creatures Unit Study - Lesson 1: Timeline

Lesson 1: We created a timeline which began with the formation of the Earth and ended today.

This is the first post in our evolution unit study. In the recent past we studied both Earth Science and Astronomy. Several of those lessons covered how the universe, stars and Earth were formed. Continuing where those lessons left off, this evolution unit study will cover how life evolved from single celled organisms into the current diverse forms of today.

Before jumping into a single prehistoric time period or evolutionary event such as the ice age, age of dinosaurs or human evolution it was important to provide an overall view of time. To do this we created a floor to ceiling timeline beginning with the formation of the Earth and ending with modern day. Unlike the timeline we used in conjunction with our history studies, on this timeline the length of the line did not correspond proportionally with the actual length of time. Instead a line was drawn down the paper and divided into the three Era's of time; Paleozoic, Mesozic and Cenozoic. In addition, a small section was left at the bottom for the pre-Cambrian time period when the Earth was formed and life began. Each Era was further evenly divided as follows:

 A. 4.5 billion-570 million - Pre-Cambrian

I. 570-245 million - Paleozoic Era

 A. 570-500 million - Cambrian
 B. 500-440 million - Ordovician
 C. 440-410 million - Silurian
 D. 410-360 million - Devonian
 E. 360-290 million - Carboniferous
   i. 360-320 million - Mississippin
   ii. 320-290 million - Pennsylvanian
 F. 290-245 million - Permian

II. 245-65 million - Mesozic Era (Dinosaurs)

 A. 245-210 million - Triassic Period
 B. 210-140 million - Jurassic Period
 C. 140-65 million - Cretaceous Period

III. 65 million-present - Cenozoic Era

 A. 65-23 million - Paleogene Period
   i. 65-54 million - Paleocene Epoch
   ii. 54-37 million - Eocene Epoch
   iii. 34-23 million - Oligocene Epoch
 B. 23-2.5 million - Neogene Period
   i. 23-5 million - Miocene Epoch
   ii. 5-1.8 million - Pliocene Epoch
 C. 2.5 million-present - Quaternary Period
   i. 2.5 million-11,700 - Pleistocene
   ii. 11,700-present - Holocene

As we journeyed through our Evolution Study, we added new images of the creatures which lived during each time period.

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