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History of Life Timeline

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The fossil case shows a living timeline from millions of years ago until the present. Throughout the ages, things have been preserved as rock, or impressions in the rock. This case shows some examples of the incredible diversity of fossils.

The Cambrian period starts 540 mya (million years ago), and shows the development of the earliest chordates (creatures with notochords or vertebrae.) It is followed by the Ordovician and Silurian periods, which show the first fish, and first land invertebrates. Next come the Mississippian and Pennsylvanian periods mark the beginning of giant insects, tree ferns, and the beginning of amphibians.

The Permian period ends the Paleozoic era with a great extinction. The Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods make up the Mesozoic era, which shows the evolution of dinosaurs and ends with their mysterious extinction. The last era, the Cenozoic, is made of the Tertiary, or mammal period, and the Quaternary period, which shows the first humans.History of Life display

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