Fourteen Billion Years of Chaos

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580 million

The first multi-celled micro-organisms.

542 million The Cambrian explosion. The rate of evolution accelerates by an order of magnitude, beginning to resemble modern evolution.
460-430 m Andean-Saharan glaciation, the third major ice age.
450 million Land plants have evolved from marine algae.

400 million

First insects appear.

360 million First (reptile-like) amphibians come on land.

300 million

The first reptiles appear.

250 million The Triassic Era, all landmasses form one supercontinent: Pangaea, surrounded by one ocean: Panthalassa. The climate is hot and dry with no ice on the poles, with occasional episodes of large amounts of rainfall.
230 million Dinosaurs start to appear.

130 million

The first flowers appear.

66 million Dinosaurs are wiped out due to an asteroid impact of at least 10 kilometers (6 miles) wide. Dust from the impact blocked out the earth’s atmosphere for several years, killing off plant and animal life.

60 million

The first primates appear.

20 million

The first hominids (great apes)

Chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, and humans

all co-existing

4.4 million Ardipithecus Ramidus  begins to roam the earth. In many ways Ardi has more in common with modern humans than with apes.
3.9 million Human-like apes of the Australopithecus Afarensis (“Lucy“) species begin to roam the earth. Not necessarily more human-like than “Ardi”.
2.5 million Beginning Pleistocene (Quaternary) glaciation, currently ongoing The last last glacial period lasted from 110,000 to 12,000 years ago. Since 11,700 B.C. we have been in an interglacial period, the Holocene, but we are not completely out of a glacial period.
2.4 million Homo, a human-like form of hominids (or apes), starts to appear.
1.5 million

Homo Erectus, ancestor of Homo Sapiens, appears. Originating in Africa and spreading to Asia.

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