The history of the Earth

  • 4650 BCE

    The Earth develops a primitive crust

    The Earth develops a primitive crust
  • Period: 4650 BCE to 4000 BCE


    This aeon saw the origin of the earth and ended with the consolidation of its first crust and the formation of the oceans
  • Period: 4000 BCE to 2500 BCE


    In this aeon the first continental masses developed, and were small and scattered. The first life forms probably appeared during this time. The oceans were formed by the precipitation of water vapour in the primitive atmosphere.
    Life appeared on earth at the early Archaean. It was most likely linked to the aquatic environment
  • 3500 BCE

    Formation of oceans

    Formation of oceans
    The oceans have now formed
  • 2500 BCE

    Sedimentary rocks

    Sedimentary rocks
    The formation of continental masses with sedimentary rock
  • Period: 2500 BCE to 1600 BCE


    Paleoproterozoic is the longest era of the Earth's geological history. It was during this era that the continents first stabilized.
    The first sedymentary rocks with bands of iron oxide were formed, which suggests the presence of oxygen in the atmosphere.
    During this period, photoautotrophic organisms filled the atmosphere with oxygen that, 2000 Ma ago, produced a mass extinction of non-aerobic organisms
  • Period: 2500 BCE to 542 BCE


    This aeon began with the continental masses beginning to move as a result of lithospheric dynamics. It ended with them joining together in a single mass called Pangaea 1. The definitive end of the aeon coincided with a huge global ice age and extincion
  • 2000 BCE

    Most non-aerobic organisms become extinct

    Most non-aerobic organisms become extinct
  • Period: 1600 BCE to 1000 BCE


    The continental masses of the Mesoproterozoic were more or less the same ones that exist today.
    In the Mesoproterozoic appeared eukaryotes and multicellular organisms
  • Period: 1000 BCE to 542 BCE


    The Neoproterozoic era was arguably the most revolutionary in Earth history. Tectonically, it saw major super-continental reconfigurations, climatically its deepest ever glacial freeze, and geochemically some of the most anomalous perturbations on record.
    There were mass extinctions during the ice ages, followed by a later explosion of biodiversity.
  • 700 BCE

    Snowball Earth

    Snowball Earth
    During 700 to 580 Ma There is a global ice age.
  • 560 BCE


    Most of the earth terrestrial land joined together to form a supercontinent called Pangaea (or Pangea)
  • 542 BCE

    Cambrian explosion

    Cambrian explosion
    The Cambrian explosion or Cambrian radiation was an event approximately 541 million years ago in the Cambrian period when practically all major animal phyla started appearing in the fossil record. It lasted for about 13 – 25 million years and resulted in the divergence of most modern metazoan phyla. The event was accompanied by major diversifications in other groups of organisms as well.
  • Period: 542 BCE to 1 BCE


    This is the aeon we are in now. It began with Pangaea 1 and continues today. Its name means "visible life", as it is the aeon in which the greatest evolution of life has taken place
  • Period: 542 BCE to 251 BCE


    This era began with the Caledonian orogeny, caused by the joining of the continents in Pangea 1, and ended with the Hercycian orogeny, which resulted from the second joining of the continents called Pangea 2 and the greatest mass extincion we know of (probably due to the start of the fragmentation of Pangea 2)
  • Period: 542 BCE to 488 BCE


    During this period the continents were separated by warm, shallow seas. Also during this period there was a boom in marine life
  • 500 BCE

    Separation of continents

    Separation of continents
  • Period: 488 BCE to 444 BCE


    The Ordovician Period caused significant changes in plate tectonics, climate, and biological systems. As a result, continents were flooded to an unprecedented level, with North America almost entirely underwater at times.
    The Ordovician Period was also characterized by the intense diversification of marine animal life in what became known as the Ordovician radiation. On land the first plants appeared, as well as possibly the first invasion of terrestrial arthropods.
  • 450 BCE

    Several continental masses join together and cause an ice age and the Caledonian orogeny

    Several continental masses join together and cause an ice age and the Caledonian orogeny
  • Period: 444 BCE to 416 BCE


    The Silurian is the shortest period of the Paleozoic Era. A significant evolutionary milestone during the Silurian was the diversification of jawed fish and bony fish. Multi-cellular life also began to appear on land in the form of small, bryophyte-like and vascular plants that grew beside lakes, streams, and coastlines, and terrestrial arthropods are also first found on land during the Silurian.
  • Period: 416 BCE to 359 BCE


    The first significant adaption of life on dry land occurred during the Devonian. Free-sporing vascular plants began to spread across dry land, forming extensive forests. Various terrestrial arthropods also became well-established.
    Fish reached substantial diversity during this time, leading the Devonian to often be dubbed the Age of Fishes. The ancestors of all four-limbed vertebrates (tetrapods) began adapting to walking on land, as their fins gradually evolved into legs.
  • Period: 359 BCE to 299 BCE


    Terrestrial animal life was well established by the Carboniferous period. Tetrapods, which had originated from lobe-finned fish during the preceeding Devonian, diversified during the Carboniferous, including early amphibian and reptiles during the late Carboniferous.
    The later half of the period experienced glaciations, low sea level, and mountain building as the continents collided to form Pangaea.
  • 300 BCE

    Second ice age

    Second ice age
    The continents join together and cause another ice age and the Hercynian orogeny
  • Period: 299 BCE to 251 BCE


    At the beginning of the period, climate warmed throughout the Permian times, and, by the end of the period, hot and dry conditions caused a crisis in all Permian life. Most of Earth’s land area was incorporated into Pangea, which was surrounded by a world ocean called Panthalassa. Terrestrial plants diversified during the Permian Period. In addition, several important reptile lineages first appeared during this period.
  • Period: 251 BCE to 66 BCE


    This are began with the end of the Hercynian orogeny and the fracturing of Pangaea 2, and ended with the Alpine orogeny and a mass extinction caused by the impact of a meteorite. It is also known as the era of dinosaurs
  • Period: 251 BCE to 199 BCE


    The Triassic Period marked the beginning of major changes that were to take place throughout the Mesozoic Era, particularly in the distribution of continents, the evolution of life, and the geographic distribution of living things. Terrestrial climates were predominately warm and dry. At the end of the Triassic, however, plate tectonic activity picked up, and a period of continental rifting began.
  • 250 BCE

    Massive volcanic activity occurs

    Massive volcanic activity occurs
  • 250 BCE

    Pangaea 2

    Pangaea 2
    A new joining of the continents occurrs, called Pangaea 2
  • 210 BCE

    Fragmentation of Pangaea 2

    Fragmentation of Pangaea 2
  • Period: 199 BCE to 145 BCE


    The Jurassic was a time of global changes in continental configurations, oceanographic patterns, and biological systems. During this period the supercontinent Pangea split apart, allowing for the eventual development of what are now the central Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.
    During the Jurassic, animals and plants living both on land and in the seas. Many groups of vertebrate and invertebrate organisms important in the modern world made their first appearance during the Jurassic.
  • Period: 145 BCE to 66 BCE


    The Cretaceous Period began with Earth’s land assembled essentially into two continents, Laurasia in the north and Gondwana in the south. North America had just begun pulling away from Eurasia during the Jurassic, and South America had started to split off from Africa, from which India, Australia, and Antarctica were also separating. The climate was generally warmer and more humid than today.
  • 140 BCE

    The opening of the Atlantic begins

  • 70 BCE

    The Alpine orogeny begins

    The Alpine orogeny begins
  • Period: 66 BCE to AD 1


    This is our current era. It began with the start of the Alpine orogeny and includes the appearance of human beings
  • Period: 66 BCE to 23 BCE


    The separation of the continents that began in the Cretaceous (the opening of the Atlantic) continued, and India ended its collision with Eurasia. This ended the Alpine orogeny
  • 65 BCE

    Gulf of Mexico meteorite

    Gulf of Mexico meteorite
    A large meteorite hits the Earth in the gulf of Mexico
  • 60 BCE

    Continental separation continues

    Continental separation continues
  • 25 BCE

    The Alpine orogeny ends

  • Period: 23 BCE to 3 BCE


    The continents reached positions that are close to those we see today during this period. The Red Sea and the Great Rift Valley in East Africa opened. The climate became cooler and more arid.
    Many of the modern groups appeared, including the first anthropoid primates. Flora typical of the humid subtropical jungle predominated at almost all latitudes. There is a progressive change towards a colder and drier climate that modifies the flora and fauna
  • 10 BCE

    The Red Sea and the Great Rift Valley open up

    The Red Sea and the Great Rift Valley open up
  • Period: 3 BCE to AD 1


    Several glacial episodes have taken place. It is presumed that they have ended, but some people think we are in an interglacial period.
    Ice ages deeply affected the flora, modifying it and causing the appearance of many of the modern group of plants. New species of mammals appeared that were adapted to colder, drier climates. Hominids developed and the human species appeared
  • 2 BCE

    The ice ages begin