Geologic Events

Phanerozoic: Emergence of "visible" life

  ├Cenozoic: An era of angiosperm and mammal diversification

    ├Quaternary: Modern age and recent ice ages

       ├Holocene: Current age... Recent Mass Extinction?

       └Pleistocene: Most recent ice age

           ├Tarantian: Extinction of humans, other than Homo sapiens

           ├Ionian: An age of global drying and glaciation; mammoth steppe dominates

           ├Calabrian: An age of global drying and glaciation

           └Gelasian: An age of horses

    ├Neogene: Age of modern plants and large mammals 

       ├Pliocene: Increase in grasslands and savannas

           ├Piacenzian: An age of Lucy (Australopithecus afarensis)

           └Zanclean: Refilling of the Mediterranean Sea

       └Miocene: Rise and diversification of grasslands







    └Paleogene: Diversification of flowering plants and mammals

       ├Oligocene: First grasslands



       ├Eocene: Forests from pole to pole


           ├Bartonian: Oldest known carnivorous plant



       └Paleocene: Recovery from Mesozoic extinction


           ├Selandian: Angiosperms rebound

           └Danian: Recovery from K-Pg extinction

  ├Mesozoic: An era of cone-bearing seed plants

    ├Cretaceous: Origin of angiosperms

      ├Late Cretaceous: Fifth Mass Extinction of Animals

           ├Maastrichtian: Chicxulub meteorite impact






     └Early Cretaceous: Origin of angiosperms



           ├Barremian: Direct evidence of angiosperm macrofossils


           ├Valanginian: First evidence of flowering plant pollen


    ├Jurassic: Age of conifers, ginkgoes, and sauropods

      ├Late Jurassic




      ├Middle Jurassic: Age of conifer domination





      └Early Jurassic

           ├Toarcian: Large marine extinction/turnover

           ├Pliensbachian: Five distinct vegetative biomes



    └Triassic: Age of diversifying gymnosperms, and dawn of dinosaurs

      ├Late Triassic: Fourth Mass Extinction of Animals




      ├Middle Triassic



      └Early Triassic

           ├Olenekian: Recovery from greatest extinction event


  └Paleozoic Era: Rise of land plants; Age of pteridophyte domination

    ├Permian: An age of increasing global temperatures and drying

      ├Late Permian: Largest Mass Extinction of Animals

           ├Changhsingian: Third Mass Extinction of Animals


      ├Middle Permian: Plants with adaptations for drought

           ├Capitanian: Probable Mass Extinction



      └Early Permian: Hold-over of Carboniferous swamps




           └Asselian: Forests of ancestral tree ferns, Noeggerathians, Sigillaria, and horsetails

    ├Carboniferous: An age of expansive coal swamps

      ├Pennsylvanian: The age of coal swamps

           ├Gzhelian: Brief domination of Marattioid tree ferns

           ├Kasimovian: Climate change devastated tropical rainforests

           ├Moscovian: Large lycopsids interspersed with cordiates and sphenopsids

           └Bashkirian: expansion of arborescent lycopsid swamps

      └Mississippian: Age of weedy pteridosperms and early tetrapods

           ├Serpukhovian: leaf shape diversity peaked

           ├Visean: Megaphylls, or true leaves, in ferns appear

           └Tournaisian: arborescent lycopods, sphenophyllophytes, equisetophytes, and pteridosperms

    ├Devonian: Adaptive radiation of land plants

      ├Late Devonian:_Second Mass Extinction of Animals_

           ├Famennian: Evidence of the first seed plant

           └Frasnian: Rise of woody plants

      ├Middle Devonian: first trees appear on the landscape

           ├Givetian: The origin of forests

           └Eifelian: Land plants spread across equator

      └Early Devonian: new land plant habitats emerge

           ├Emsian: Plants increasing in height

           ├Pragian: Age of the Rhynie Chert

           └Lochkovian: Trimerophytes appear

    ├Silurian: An age of diversification of land plants and fishes


      ├Ludlow: oldest vascular cells found



      ├Wenlock: Land plants probably throughout landscape



      └Llandovery: Massive ecological change-over




    ├Ordovician Period: Age of the earliest land plants

      ├Late Ordovician:_First Mass Extinction of Animals_

           ├Hirnantian: Glaciation events



      ├Middle Ordovician: Great Ordovician Biodiversity Event

           ├Darriwilian: Increase in plant miospores

           └Dapingian: Earliest plant sporangium

      └Early Ordovician: Evidence of earliest plant spores

           ├Floian: Earliest confirmed plant micro-fossils


    └Cambrian Period: Diversification of algae and marine invertebrates

Proterozoic: Evolution of eukaryotes; diversification of bacteria 

  ├NeoProterozoic: Snowball Earth Event(s)

    ├Ediacaran: _Possible Mass Extinction of Metazoans_

    ├Cryogenian: An age of planet-wide glaciations

    └Tonian: Diversification of acritarchs

  ├MesoProterozoic: The origin of sexual reproduction

    ├Stenian: Super-continent Rodinia forms

    ├Ectasian: Earliest direct evidence of eukaryotes

    └Calymmian: Breakup of Columbia Super-continent

  └PaleoProterozoic: Increase in Earth's oxygen

    ├Statherian: Rise of complex, single-celled life

    ├Orosirian: Extensive mountain building

    ├Rhyacian: An age of high volcanism; possible early eukaryotes

    └Siderian: The Great Oxidation Event

Archean: Origin of life

  ├Neoarchean: Beginning of oxygen-forming photosynthesis

  ├Mesoarchean: Direct evidence of life

  ├Paleoarchean: Oldest indirect evidence of life

  └Eoarchean: The possibility of life on Earth

Hadean: Earth's origins, before the advent of life