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Our Planet’s History: 

Our Planet’s History The concept of Geologic Time.

Time : 

Time For you and I, time can seem to drag on forever. But really, it is only a flash in the grand scale of time. The Earth is estimated to be 4.5 Billion Years old! If you lived to be 70, it would take you 64,285,714 lifetimes to reach back that far!

Earth’s Clock: 

Earth’s Clock We measure GEOLOGIC TIME or the age of the Earth by looking at rocks. Rocks tell us about events and life through the ages. The study of the Earth’s rocks, fossils, minerals, landforms and resources is called GEOLOGY or simply “ the study of the Earth “ Geo = Earth; logy = the study of


Geology There are many fields of study in geology. Scientists can study everything from sand grains to mountains and volcanoes. We are going to look at two fields of study today.

Geologic Time: 

Geologic Time We measure Earth’s history using Geologic Time. We can divide Earth’s History into 3 Main Periods, called “ Eras” Scientists who study these Eras and the life in them are called Paleontologists.

Strata : 

Strata Rocks form in layers called “ Strata “ The OLDEST rocks are at the bottom. The YOUNGEST rocks are at the top. We label the strata into periods.

The Eras of Time: 

The Eras of Time There are three main Eras of time in Earth’s History. We identify these Eras by the FOSSILS we find ( or do not find ) in them. The Eras are : Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic

Life on Earth: 

Life on Earth All FOSSIL FUELS come from past life forms. FOSSILS are the remains of extinct animals or plants. Each Era is divided into PERIODS that identify different kinds of fossils.

Periods : 

Periods We are going to briefly travel back in time to review some of the more notable periods of time. These periods concern us because they are ones in which 99% of ALL FOSSIL FUELS were formed.

Devonian Period: 

Devonian Period Age of Fishes! Very little land masses Plants first appear Formation of OIL deposits begin Plates start to separate and move

Devonian Continued: 

Devonian Continued First Amphibians appear. Late Devonian SWAMPS begin to form. HUGE fish and Sea Scorpions.

Carboniferous Period: 

Carboniferous Period Age of Amphibians MASSIVE swamps forming COAL BEDS Huge Amphibians like Eryops and Diplovertibron. Almost ALL COAL formed in this period.

Carboniferous cont.: 

Carboniferous cont. Life is incredibly diverse. Late Carboniferous the first REPTILES appear. First known reptile is called “ Seymouria “

Carboniferous Notes: 

Carboniferous Notes A massive coal swamp covered much of Western Virginia, all of West Virginia, and parts of Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Permian Period: 

Permian Period Age of the Gorgons Land begins to clash together, forming mountains and METALLIC ORES like copper, gold, iron and aluminum.

Permian Life: 

Permian Life First MAMMALS appear. HUGE predatory reptiles called Gorgons rule the land. Life is very diverse, swamps begin to disappear.

Permian Death: 

Permian Death The largest extinction EVER on Earth took place at the end of the Permian. We don’t know why, but 99% of ALL living things on Earth died out.

Triassic Period: 

Triassic Period First period of the Mesozoic Era. First Dinosaurs First Pterosaurs Formation of Continental Shelves. VA is a desert.

Triassic Trouble: 

Triassic Trouble Pangea - one large land mass. Atlantic Ocean - 30 feet wide Appalachian Mountains form, rising higher than Mt. Everest.

VA in the Triassic: 

VA in the Triassic VA is a desert in the Triassic Period The land is raised up, and the Mountains and shorelines form. Coelophysis is dinosaur in VA, along with Archosaurs and Northosaurs.


Jurassic Age of Dinosaurs proper. Land of Titans, ocean of sea monsters. Continents drift to approximate locations of today. Coniferous Trees and Ferns


Cretaceous Rocky Mountains form Inland sea across North America Continents continue to spread Increased Volcanic activity

Cretaceous Life: 

Cretaceous Life Dinosaurs become more diverse than ever, and roam all over the world. Inland sea of America is referred to as “ Hell’s Aquarium “ by scientists. Dinosaurs die at end of period.


Eocene Mammals take over, but birds rule first! First RAIN FORESTS form. Ozone Layer thickens Polar Ice caps begin to form.


Miocene Mammals diversify and spread all over the world. First Homonids appear. Mediterranean Sea develops

Miocene Notes: 

Miocene Notes All cats are Saber Toothed. All whales are carnivores, eating other mammals and sharks There is a 140 foot shark called Megalodon


Pleistocene ICE AGE Lasted until about 10,000 years ago Modern humans along with Neanderthal and Cro - Magnon man. Ice Sheets exposed resources


ICE AGE Glaciers carved the great lakes Land Bridge to Asia from Alaska allowed humans to migrate. Many animals died out after.


Today If all of time were represented by the Empire State Building, The time that people have existed on earth would be as thick as a sheet of paper on top. The world keeps changing, slow and steady.


Resources All of the fossil fuels we use today were created millions of years ago. It took millions of years to create them. They are finite, and once gone, cannot be replaced. Fossil Fuels are coal, natural gas and oil. Fossils form when a plant or animal dies and is buried quickly. Then parts are replaced with minerals. Geology is all about TIME and PRESSURE


THE QUESTION 1. LIST THE THREE ERAS OF TIME 2. IDENTIFY WHICH PERIOD MADE THE RESOURCES….. Coal a) Permian Natural Gas b) Carboniferous Oil c) Devonian Metals d) Triassic

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