Understanding Evolution

Important events in the history of life

A timeline can provide additional information about life's history not visible on an evolutionary tree. These include major geologic events, climate changes, radiations of organisms into new habitats, changes in ecosystems, changes in continental positions, and widespread extinctions. Explore the timeline below to review some of the important events in life's history.

4600 Mya 3800 Mya 3500 Mya 555 Mya 500 Mya 450 Mya 420 Mya 360 Mya 4600 Mya 3800 Mya 3500 Mya 555 Mya 500 Mya 450 Mya 420 Mya 360 Mya
Important events in the history of life: 4500 to 360 Mya
4600 Mya-Earth forms
3800 Mya-DNA forms
3500 Mya-Bacteria evolves
535 Mya-Cambrian Explosion
500 Mya-Fish evolve
450 Mya-Land invertebrates evolve
420 Mya-Land plants evolve
360 Mya-Tetrapods evolve

Description of Important Events
250 Mya 248 Mya 225 Mya 130 Mya 65 Mya 4 Mya 130 Kya
250 Mya-Pangaea forms 248 Mya-Permo-Triassic Extinction 225 Mya-Dinosaurs and mammals evolve 130 Mya-Flowers evolve 65 Mya-Extinction of dinosaurs 65 Mya-Extinction of dinosaurs 4 Mya-Lucy lives 130 Kya-Modern humans evolve
Important events in the history of life: 359 Mya to Present 250 Mya 248 Mya 225 Mya 130 Mya 65 Mya 4 Mya 130 Kya

(If the timeline doesn't work, view the Text-only version)


 
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Understanding Evolution © 2015 by The University of California Museum of Paleontology, Berkeley, and the Regents of the University of California