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Geo Timescale

Geo Timescale

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Published by Megan Pease

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Published by: Megan Pease on Dec 13, 2012
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Geological Timeline Activity Worksheet
 Directions:
Fill out while completing the UC Berkeley online activity athttp://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/education/explorations/tours/geotime/index.html 
Answer the following questions as you navigate through
Understanding Geologic Time
.
1
. How is relative age different from the actual date of an event? 
2
. What can radiometric dating tell us about the age of rocks that the Law of Superposition cannot?
3
. How can you find the age of a layer of rock that is surrounded by layers of volcanic ash?
4
. What do the periods in the geologic time scale represent? 
5
. Look at the diagram below representing layers of rocks and the fossils buried in them.a) Circle the oldest layer. b) Explain how you can tell which layer is the oldest. (Hint: The Law of Superposition might help you.)
1
 
6. Definition of Terms
Paleozoic:Era:Eon:Fauna:Flora:Geologic Time Scale:Law of Superposition:Period:Mesozoic:Phanerozoic:
Final Portion of Activity
: How much paper would it take to represent a billion? Or to represent the age of the Earth?
The single asterisks page at the end of this worksheet contains 4,000 asterisks. If each asterisk representsone year of earth history, it would take 250 of the asterisk pages (with 4,000 asterisks on each) torepresent 1,000,000 (1 million) years.Given that one ream of paper contains 500 sheets and typically stands 2 inches tall, 250 sheets, about 1inch thick, would represent 1 million years. Now we can solve some problems that allow us to visualize earth time. I’ve given the solution for thefirst problem as an example.
Problems:EXAMPLE
. How
thick 
would the paper stack of asterisk pages have to be to show the amount of time that has passed just since the dinosaurs went extinct?
 Answer 
: Dinosaurs went extinct 65 million years ago. 250 sheets at 1 inch = 1 million years. SO…65 x 1 inch = 65 inches, or 5 feet, 5 inches (FYI that’s as tall as me).
7
. How tall would the stack have to be to show the entirety of the earth's history? (Remember, 1 million years =1 inch, and1 billion divided by 1 million = 1000)
8
. How tall would the stack be for the evolution of earliest life?
9
. How tall would the stack be for the evolution of the first trilobites
2
 
References: Geological Time Scale and Asterisks page
Geologic Time Scale
EONERAPERIODEPOCHMILLIONSOF YRSAGOMAJOR BIOLOGICAL EVENTS
PHA NEOZOICCE NOZOICQuaternaryHolocene.01Rise of civilization and agriculture. Extinctionof large mammals in northern hemisphere.Pleistocene1.8Modern humans appear. Four major glaciationscause rapid shifts in ecological communities.Tertiary NeogenePliocene5Extensive radiation of flowering plants andmammals. First hominids appear.Miocene23Coevolution of insects and flowering plants.Dogs and bears appear.PaleogeneOligocene38Worldwide tropical rainforests. Pigs, cats, andrhinos appear. Dominence of snails and bivalves in the oceans.Eocene54Early mammals abundant. Rodents, primitivewhales and grasses appear.Paleocene65Early placental mammals appear; first primates;modern birds.MESOZOICCretaceous 146Marsupials, ants, bees, butterflies, flowering plants appear. Mass extinction of most largeanimals and many plants.Jurassic 208Dinosaurs and gymnosperms dominate the land;feathered dinosaurs and birds appear. Radiationof marine reptiles.Triassic 245Origin of mammals, dinosaurs and true flies.Less diverse marine fauna.PALEOZOICPermian 286Gymnosperms, amphibians dominant. Beetles,stoneflies appear. Major extinction of 95% of marine species and 50% of all animal families.CarboniferousPennsylvanian325First reptiles, cockroaches and mayflies appear.Extensive coal swamp forests. Sponge reefs.Missippian360Echinoderms, bryozoans dominant in oceans.Early winged insects. First coal swamp forests.Devonian 410First amphibians. Extensive radiation of fish,land plants. Many corals, brachiopods andechinoderms.Silurian 440First spiders, scorpions, centipedes, earlyinsects, vascular plants, jawed fish and largereefs appear.Ordovician 505First land plants, primitive fungi, sea weedappear. Diverse marine life: corals, molluscs, bivalves, echinoderms, etc.3

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