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Geology 12
Project: Geologic Timeline
To show your understanding of the geologic timescale, you are to create a
geologic timeline. Your timeline must show:
 The two eons
 The Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic eras
↓
↓
and its periods
and its periods and epochs
 The three divisions within Precambrian time
You must also show where 5 mass extinctions appear
Show one key feature for each division of time.
You may use a roll of paper cut to a length specified by the teacher (3 m, 4 m,
etc) OR you may choose another analogy: a piano keyboard, the distance across
Canada, or something else of interest to you.
It MUST be to scale. To help you achieve this, use the table on the reverse side
of this sheet to calculate the percent of Earth’s history from present back to each
time, then calculate the distance you will represent.
Grading Scheme:
Component
Criteria
Time divisions
shown
Scale
Facts
Mass extinctions
Overall
organization
All eons, eras, periods and epochs are shown
and placed in the correct sequence in relation to
each other
Proportions are calculated and measured
correctly
One key feature is shown for each division of
time
5 Mass extinction times are shown and placed
correctly
Scale is easily read by someone NOT familiar
with this topic; headings are used, color coding
is present
TOTAL
Points
Available
8
8
5
5
4
/30
This project is worth THREE (3) “Big Picture” points on your term grade.
You have two periods to work on it in class. It is due on
Geology 12
Project: Geologic Timeline
EON
ERA
EPOCH
MILLIONS
OF YRS
AGO
Holocene
.01
Rise of civilization and agriculture. Extinction
of large mammals in northern hemisphere.
Pleistocene
1.8
Modern humans appear. Four major
glaciations cause rapid shifts in ecological
communities.
Pliocene
5
Extensive radiation of flowering plants and
mammals. First hominids appear.
Miocene
23
Coevolution of insects and flowering plants.
Dogs and bears appear.
Oligocene
38
Worldwide tropical rainforests. Pigs, cats, and
rhinos appear. Dominence of snails and
bivalves in the oceans.
Eocene
54
Early mammals abundant. Rodents, primitive
whales and grasses appear.
Paleocene
65
Early placental mammals appear; first
primates; modern birds.
Cretaceous
146
Marsupials, ants, bees, butterflies, flowering
plants appear. Mass extinction of most large
animals and many plants.
Jurassic
208
Dinosaurs and gymnosperms dominate the
land; feathered dinosaurs and birds appear.
Radiation of marine reptiles.
Triassic
245
Origin of mammals, dinosaurs and true flies.
Less diverse marine fauna.
Permian
286
Gymnosperms, amphibians dominant. Beetles,
stoneflies appear. Major extinction of 95% of
marine species and 50% of all animal families.
Pennsylvanian
325
First reptiles, cockroaches and mayflies
appear. Extensive coal swamp forests. Sponge
reefs.
Missippian
360
Echinoderms, bryozoans dominant in oceans.
Early winged insects. First coal swamp
forests.
Devonian
410
First amphibians. Extensive radiation of fish,
land plants. Many corals, brachiopods and
echinoderms.
Silurian
440
First spiders, scorpions, centipedes, early
insects, vascular plants, jawed fish and large
reefs appear.
Ordovician
505
First land plants, primitive fungi, sea weed
appear. Diverse marine life: corals, molluscs,
bivalves, echinoderms, etc.
Cambrian
543
Rise of all major animal groups. Metazoan life
abundant; trilobites dominant. First fish. No
known terrestrial life.
PERIOD
proportion
of total
Quaternary
C
E
N
O
Z
O
I
C
M
E
S
O
Z
O
I
C
MAJOR BIOLOGICAL EVENTS
Neogene
Tertiary
Paleogene
P
H
A
N
E
R
O
Z
O
I
C
distance
to show
Carboniferous
P
A
L
E
O
Z
O
I
C
PROTEROZOIC
570
ARCHEAN
2,500
HADEAN
3,800-4,600
0.124 or 12.4%
Origin of multicelled organisms. First
sponges, colonial algae and soft-bodied
invertebrates.
0.54 or 54 %
Oxygen levels rise as a result of
photosynthetic organisms.
First eukaryotes (single-celled algae): 1.4
billion years old.
Earliest life, anaerobic prokaryotes (bacteria,
archaeans) originate 3.5 billion years ago.
1 or 100%
No life known. Cooling and solidifying of
Earth's crust.