How did the early Palaeozoic begin
Earth history and co - how was it in the past? #1
The geological ages
Researchers divide the earth's history into different ages. How can you even find out? Well, the researchers use sedimentary rock layers that contain fossils that give great insights into the world of yesteryear. But are the major periods and their minor subdivisions called?
1. Precambrian - 4,500 to 541 million years ago
The Precambrian was the first age on earth. It covers 90% of the earth's history. However, little is known about this long period on the subject of life, there are only a few fossils from this period.
2. Paleozoic Era - 541 to 252 million years ago
At the beginning of the Paleozoic, life existed only in water. But later in this age living things came to the land as well. The first fish emerged in the water, and insects and trees on the mainland.
3. Mesozoic Era - 252 to 66 million years ago
The Mesozoic is also known as the "Age of the Dinosaurs". Back then the climate was much warmer than it is today and large parts of the land area were overgrown with lush coniferous forests.
4. Cenozoic Era - 66 to 0 million years ago
This age is also known as that of the mammals. It started after after dinosaurs became extinct. We still live in that age today.
The Precambrian include:Hadaic, Archean and Proterozoic.
The Paleozoic include: Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian, Carboniferous and Permian.
The Mesozoic Era includes:Triassic, Jurassic and Chalk.
The Cenozoic include:Paleogene, Tilt and Quaternary. We live in the Quaternary.
As sad as it is, unfortunately there have already been two mass extinctions with many victims. The causes of these disasters are not always clearly understood.
- Around 252 million years ago, most marine animals and a large proportion of land animals fell victim to volcanic eruptions that poisoned the air and the oceans.
- Around 66 million years ago, 75 percent of all animal species lost their lives. That was the dinosaur extinction. Presumably a 10 to 15 kilometer meteorite that hit Mexico was to blame.
- ? A third mass extinction may be taking place right now. It happens through us and our pollution and habitat destruction.
The wandering continents
The earth and its continents didn't always look like they did now. The movement of the tectonic plates causes the continents to slowly shift and move away from or towards each other. This is called continental drift. In the Triassic Period, for example, there were no real continents, only the supercontinent Pangea.
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