70-1 Million Years Ago (C)

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70Mil BC    A dinosaur species, later (2010) named Kosmoceratops (ornate horned-face), thrived in Utah about this time. It had 15 horns decorating its massive head, giving it the most elaborate dinosaur headdress known to science. Another species in Utah from this time, later (2010) named Utahceratops (Utah horned-face), was roughly 20 feet long and weighed 3 to 4 tons.
70Mil BC    In 2020 paleontologists from the Argentine Museum of Natural Sciences said they have found the remains of a megaraptor dating to this time, making it one of the last carnivorous dinosaurs to inhabit the earth. The discovery was made in the southern province of Santa Cruz in the middle of March, 2020.
    (Reuters, 5/19/20)
70Mil BC    Scientists in Argentina in 2021 unearthed the remains of a previously unknown species of meat-eating dinosaur that lived about this time that had puny arms and may have used its powerful head to ram its prey. The fossil skull of the Cretaceous Period dinosaur, named Guemesia ochoai, was discovered in northwestern Salta province.
    (Reuters, 2/25/22)
70Mil BC    The triangular continental plate we know as the subcontinent was once part of Antarctica. Some seventy million years ago it began drifting northward toward Asia.
    (NH, 5/96, p.10)
70Mil BC    In 2004 scientists reported the discovery in Antarctica of a small meat-eating therapod dinosaur from this time.
    (SFC, 2/27/04, p.A2)
70Mil BC    In 2008 a Canadian researcher reported what is believed to be North America's smallest dinosaur, a 70-million-year-old chicken-sized beast that was also unusual for its diet of insects. Its bones were excavated near Red Deer, in fossil-rich Alberta, in 2002 among about 20 Albertosaurus remains, and went unnoticed.
    (AP, 9/24/08)
70Mil BC    The dinosaur Hypacrosaurus stebingeri, a rhinoceros-sized creature, lived about this time in Canada.
    (Econ, 1/7/17, p.62)
70Mil BC    The North Atlantic and Greenland ridges, Iceland and other islands are all made up of rocks younger than 70 million years. This date seems to mark the time till which Laurasia was intact.
    (DD-EVTT, p.202)
70Mil BC    In Madagascar A frog lived in Madagascar about this time that grew to 16 inches in length and weighed 10 pounds. In 1993 paleontologist David Krause began to find fossils of the frog.
    (SFC, 2/19/08, p.A8)
70Mil BC    The dinosaur Protoceratops andrewsi, a sheep-sized creature, lived about this time in Mongolia.
    (Econ, 1/7/17, p.62)
70Mil BC    The giant Mosasaurus reptile head, found in the Netherlands near Maastricht in 1794, roamed the seas about this time.
    (NYT, 6/7/96, p.A4)
70Mil BC    Skulls of Mongolian fossil birds from this time were found c1997 in the Gobi desert. They were named Shuvuui deserti. The skeleton was that of a bird but the stubby arms indicated that it could not have flown. A fossil bird from Madagascar that lived about this time was also reported found and named Rahona ostromi.
    (SFC, 3/19/98, p.A1,9)(SFC, 5/6/99, p.A8)
70Mil BC    A skeleton of Tyrannosaurus bataars, dating to this time, was first discovered in 1946 during a joint Soviet-Mongolian expedition in Mongolia’s Omnogovi Province.
    (SFC, 6/20/12, p.A8)
70Mil BC    In 2006 scientists in Mongolia uncovered a chunk of sandstone dating to this time, which contained the almost complete skeleton of a Tarbosaurus dinosaur, related to the giant carnivorous Tyrannosaurus.
    (AP, 7/24/08)

70Mil BC - 65Mil BC    The Wangshi Formation in China’s Shandong Province contains a site with T-Rex dinosaur eggs (Tarbosaurus to the Chinese). The eggs measure as much as 18 inches long. Tyrannosaurus (terrible lizard) was first identified in 1905 by H.F. Osborn.
    (SFME, 5/7/95, P.5)
70Mil BC - 65Mil BC    Boundary of the Cretaceous-Tertiary zones. This is the period in which the dinosaurs become extinct. A theory by Louis Alvarez and others in 1980AD proposes that the earth was impacted by a large meteor around this time that caused worldwide darkness, massive deforestation from fire, an enormous amount of soot, prolonged cold, and a severe depletion of atmospheric oxygen that lasted months. Lack of sunlight would have also caused the death of photoplankton in the oceans and an oxygen drop in the oceans. The theory is supported by a thin layer of dark clay containing iridium, an element more common in meteors than on the surface of the earth, that has been found in a number of locations around the world.
    (TMP, KCTS-Video, 1987)
70Mil BC - 65Mil BC    The earliest fossil of a modern land bird was found in eastern Montana in the 1960s. More primitive birds with teeth did not survive the Great Extinction.
    (SFC, 11/5/98, p.A6)

70Mil BC - 2Mil BC    Tertiary period. The Atlantic widened, the Rockies were raised, the Himalayas were formed, and the Alps formed in that order.
    (DD-EVTT, p.21)
    Early Tertiary rocks form some of the ridges that encircle Mt. Diablo, Ca.
    (GH-ADH, p.23)

70Mil BC - Present.     Cainozoic Era. Age of mammals, marsupials and placentals, begins.
    (DD-EVTT, p.21,295)
    The Cainozoic might be called the ‘Age of Bony Fishes.’
    (DD-EVTT, p.296)
    The squid, octopus and nautilus are the only Cainozoic representatives of the once great house of the cephalopods.
    (DD-EVTT, p.294)

69Mil BC    A plant-eating duck-billed dinosaur roamed northern Alaska about this time. Fossils of the hadrosaur were reported as a new species in 2015.
    (SFC, 9/23/15, p.A8)

68Mil BC    In 2020 scientists reported that a mysterious fossil dating to about this time found in 2011 on Seymour Island off Antarctica's coast that looked like a deflated football has turned out to be the second-largest egg on record and one that may have belonged to a huge marine reptile that lived alongside the dinosaurs.
    (Reuters, 6/17/20)
68Mil BC    Fossils of a Tyrannosaurus rex from this time were found in the Hell Creek formation of Montana in 2003. In 2005 scientists reported that a femur contained soft tissue. In 2007 researchers sequenced amino acids in the tissue and reported that they matched those of modern chickens. Some sequences matched those of a newt, a frog and several other animals. In 2008 researchers said modern bacterial colonies had infiltrated cavities in the bone.
    (SFC, 3/25/05, p.A2)(SFC, 4/13/07, p.A6)(SFC, 7/31/08, p.A15)

67.5Mil BC    A pulse of volcanic eruptions     began about this time in the Deccan area of India. A 2nd pulse took place around 65 million BC and a 3rd about 100,000 years later. These were later believed to have contributed to the extinction of dinosaurs due to their heavy release of sulfur dioxide.
    (SFC, 12/16/08, p.A4)

67Mil BC    The remains of the hadrosaur, dubbed Dakota and dating to about this time, were found in 1999 by Tyler Lyson (17), on his uncle's ranch in North Dakota. The partially mummified hadrosaur may be the most complete dinosaur ever found, with intact skin that shows evidence of stripes and perhaps soft tissue.
    (Reuters, 12/3/07)(SFC, 12/3/07, p.A7)
67Mil BC    In 1987 scientists in India found the fossilized remains of an 11½-foot snake, dating to about this time, coiled around a dinosaur egg.
    (SFC, 3/3/10, p.A3)

67Mil BC - 64Mil BC    Immense volcano eruptions occurred around the world.
    (WSJ, 3/2/04, p.B1)

66.7Mil BC    In 2020 a new report said a tiny bird fossil skull nicknamed "Wonderchicken" dated to about this time. A skull of the partridge-sized bird, named Asteriornis maastrichtensis, was found in Belgium and said to be 66.7 to 66.8 million years old. It lived just before an asteroid impact blamed for killing off many species.
    (AP, 3/18/20)(Reuters, 3/18/20)

66.038Mil BC    About this time a comet struck the area of the Mexican Yucatan Peninsula and created a crater, known today as Chicxulub, about 150-180 miles (200 km) in diameter. The area at this time was covered by ocean. The asteroid was initially believed to have been 6-12 miles (10 km) in diameter. It left a thin layer of iridium in rock strata around the world. Evidence for this was gathered by Luis Alvarez. The asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs, about 80% of the world’s plants species and all animals bigger than a cat. In 2002 it also was estimated to have wiped out 55-60% of the plant-eating insects. A high oxygen level may have contributed to a worldwide firestorm. In 1997 Walter Alvarez published "T. Rex and the Crater of Doom," an account of this critical event. The impact was estimated at 5 billion times greater than the atomic bombs of WW II. In 2007 US and Czech researchers used computer simulations to calculate that there was a 90 percent probability that the collision of two asteroids in 160 Mil BC was the event that precipitated the Chicxulub disaster. In 2008 new research using an osmium isotope indicated that the responsible asteroid was about 2.5 miles wide. In 2013 scientists said this date was accurate to give or take 11,000 years.
    (SFC, 2/18/96, p.A3)(SFEC, 8/17/97, BR p.7)(NH, 9/97, p.85)(SFC, 2/25/02, p.A4)(WSJ, 3/2/04, p.B1)(Reuters, 9/5/07)(SFC, 4/12/08, p.A4)(SFC, 2/8/13, p.A1)

66Mil BC    Early primates made their appearance about this time.
    (SFC, 3/16/00, p.A17)
66Mil BC    Scientists in 2000 reported that the 66 million-year-old plant-eating dinosaur, Thescelosaurus (marvelous lizard), had a 4-chambered heart and was likely warm-blooded.
    (SFC, 4/21/00, p.A1)
66Mil BC    In 2020 researchers described an exquisitely preserved fossil of the plant-eating mammal named Adalatherium hui, which lived in Madagascar about this time during the Cretaceous Period and superficially resembled a badger with its long torso and stubby tail.
    (AP, 4/29/20)

65.7Mil BC    Some animal species began to suffer and a few went extinct.
    (WSJ, 3/2/04, p.B1)

65Mil BC    The K-T boundary during which the Cretaceous gave way to the Tertiary.
    (SFC, 12/20/00, p.A4)
65Mil BC    Argentinasaurus, a 120 foot, 100 ton dinosaur lived during this time in South America.
65Mil BC    Placental mammals, 16 or so orders, started to diversify after the demise of the dinosaurs.
    (Pac. Disc., summer, ‘96, p.46)
65Mil BC    Tyrannosaurus rex, a 40-50 foot, 6 ton dinosaur teeth up to 13 inches long lived during this time in North America. A 50-foot female T. rex of about this age was discovered on a Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota by Sue Hendrickson in 1990. The government seized the skeleton in 1992 and in 1997 it was put up for auction by Sotheby’s on behalf of Maurice Williams, a Sioux Indian and owner of the ranch where it was found. The proceeds were to be held in trust by the government.
    (http://tinyurl.com/r6kp2)(SFEC, 9/28/97, p.A13)
65Mil BC    T. rex "Sue" ate a Duckbill dinosaur about this time and was herself mauled by another T. rex in South Dakota. She died in a slow moving stream near the shore of a vast inland sea that bisected North America, and was buried under a protective layer of sand.
    (SFC,12/897, p.A4)
65Mil BC    In 2003 US and Indian scientists reported on a new dinosaur species from western India from this time. They named it Rajasaurus narmadensis, or "Regal reptile from the Narmada," after the Narmada River region where the bones were found.
    (AP, 8/13/03)
65Mil BC    Evidence in 2009 suggested that an object some 40km in diameter hit the Earth off the coast if India about this time and forced vast quantities of lava out of the Deccan Traps. The impact was suggested to be responsible for breaking the Seychelles away from India as well as for the dying off of dinosaurs. This impact was named Shiva and is believed to have coincided with the Chicxulub impact in the Yucatan.
    (Econ, 10/24/09, p.91)
65Mil BC    In the early Paleocene a branch that led to living Cetacea (whales) separated from the Condylartha branch ("knuckle-joints") of land mammals with hooves that led to Artiodactyla (even-toed hoofed mammals).
    (LSA, Spg/97, p.7)

c65Mil BC    In 1998 fossilized fragments of a tiny shrew-like mammal, Batodonoides, were reported from north-central Wyoming. It weighed as little as 1.3 grams.
    (SFC, 10/1/98, p.A2)

65Mil BC - 64.995Mil BC    A dead zone that lasted about 5,000 years resulted from the impact of the asteroid that struck Earth was indicated in 1997 seabed drill sediments.
    (SFC, 2/18/96, p.A3)

65Mil BC - 65.9Mil BC    Over some 100,000 years dinosaurs and other species slowly died out.
    (WSJ, 3/2/04, p.B1)

65Mil BC - 55Mil BC        The Paleocene Epoch.
    (ADH, GHMC,1979, p.24)

65Mil BC - 55Mil BC    Road cuts west of Martinez: sandstone and shale. Coast Highway between San Pedro Point and Devil’s Slide: shale and sandstone. Pt. Reyes and Pt. Lobos: conglomerate, sandstone, shale.
    (GH-ADH, p.25)

65Mil BC - 21Mil BC    Paleocene to early Miocene. A long period of erosion worked across the west side of the Great Valley (California). Within the valley early Tertiary seas fluctuated widely. A seaway, (the Markley Strait) may have connected the open sea with the Great Valley. It is possible that the Coast Ranges consisted of a complex of islands at this time.
    (GH-ADH, p.36)

65Mil BC - 1.8Mil BC         TERTIARY PERIOD     

64Mil BC - 40Mil BC    Fossils from Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic (480 miles from the North Pole) indicate one time warm temperatures with coal-like fallen redwoods, large lizards and constrictor snakes, tortoises, alligators, tapirs, and flying lemurs.
    (NG, 6/1988, 757)

65Mil BC - Present         CENOZOIC ERA         

63Mil BC - 58Mil BC        Paleocene (ancient-recent) Epoch         
    (E&IH, 1973, p.42)(LSA, Spg/97, p.6)

62Mil BC    In 2005 scientist at UC Berkeley reported evidence of periodic extinctions occurring every 62 million years.
    (SFC, 3/10/05, p.A7)

60Mil BC     During the last 60 or so million years the break-up of Pangaea continued with continents drifting northwards and for the most part away from one another. The shapes of the continents as we know them today began to clarify and the great Alpine-Himalayan mountains rose from Tethys. In the Americas the Cordilleran ranges of the west were pushed up and volcanoes rumbled. For the first time New Zealand can be seen as a separate entity, broken off as Australia moved northwards.
    (DD-EVTT, p.204)
60Mil BC    Fleas evolved as highly specialized bloodsucking parasites at least 60 million years ago.
    (NG, 5/88, p.675)
60Mil BC    The Fossil Butte Member of the Green River Formation in southwest Wyoming represents the remains of an extinct tropical lake community that formed about this time and lasted about 20 million years. It included Fossil lake, Lake Uinta, and Lake Goshuite and covered parts of Wyoming, Utah and Colorado.
    (NH, 7/98, p.66)
60Mil BC    The Antilles Islands [of the West Indies] broke off from the Mesoamerican mainland about 60 million years ago.
    (Nat. Hist. 3/96, p.15)
60Mil BC    By the middle Paleocene on the branch that led to living Cetacea there evolved the Mesonychia with blunted, meat-eating dentition and a trotting gait. They were possibly scavengers and are found on all northern continents. the transition to whales began when mesonychians went into the water to feed with a change in dentition. Next to change were the ears and then the reduction of the sacrum for tail-powered swimming.
    (LSA, Spg/97, p.7,10)

60Mil BC - 40Mil BC    The collision of the North American and Pacific Farallon plate, began lifting the Sierra Nevada about this time. The Clear Lake basin of California rose above sea level. The rise of the Sierra Nevada continued for another 20 million years.
    (SSFC, 6/9/02, p.C8)(SSFC, 1/16/11, p.C2)(SFC, 5/8/12, p.A9)

58Mil BC - 36Mil BC         Eocene (dawn-recent) Epoch         
    (E&IH, 1973, p.42)(LSA, Spg/97, p.6)

58Mil BC - 60Mil BC    Researchers in 2009 reported that a snake named Titanoboa cerrejonensis (titanic boa from Cerrejon) lived in Colombia about this time and stretched 42 to 45 feet long, reaching more than 2,500 pounds.
    (AP, 2/4/09)

55.8Mil BC    In 2008 scientists reported that a small primate species, named Teilhardina magnoliana lived about this time and inhabited what later became east-central Mississippi.
    (SFC, 3/4/08, p.A15)

55Mil BC    Arctic temperatures averaged 74 degrees. This was part of a planet-wide warming period called the Paleocene Eocene thermal Maximum (PETM).
    (SFC, 6/1/06, p.A5)
55Mil BC    An increase in temperature prompted a major shift in plant distribution. In 2005 scientists reported that Earth warmed 9 to 18 degrees over a 10,000 years to a warm period that lasted 80-120 thousand years. Plants in the southern US spread 1,000 miles from the gulf Coast to Wyoming, and disappeared when the climate cooled off. In 2007 scientists said that it took about 200,000 years for the atmospheric carbon from volcanic eruptions to be transferred to the deep ocean, allowing the planet to cool.
    (SFC, 11/11/05, p.A7)(SFC, 4/27/07, p.A9)
55Mil BC    Alligators and palm trees inhabited Wyoming during the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM).
    (Econ, 2/25/06, p.82)
55Mil BC    Bony fish, initially fresh water creatures, took to the sea about this time.
    (Econ, 1/27/07, p.82)
55 Mil BC    Fast flying birds evolved about this time and the size of insects began to shrink.
    (SFC, 6/6/12, p.A9)
55Mil BC    A tiny monkey-like creature lived in central China about this time. Fossil evidence indicated that it’s trunk was about 2.8 inches long. In 2013 the new species was named Archibus achilles.
    (SFC, 6/6/13, p.A9)(Econ, 6/8/13, p.82)

55Mil BC - 38Mil BC        The Eocene Epoch
    (ADH, GHMC,1979, p.24)
    Road cuts California south of Antioch reservoir: sandstone and shale. Road cuts in the vicinity of Woodside: sandstone and shale. Early gold-bearing gravels in the Sierra Nevada.
    (GH-ADH, p.25)
    Eocene rocks and fossils of Spitsbergen, now at latitude 75 degrees north, tell us that the climate was warm or sub-tropical, with coal swamps covering hundreds of square miles of lowland. After the separation of Greenland from Scandinavia the colder waters of the polar basin would have mingled with the North Atlantic. The closed North Atlantic Ocean circulation was, by linking with the polar basin, changed to a more productive system for supporting a large and varied biota.
    (DD-EVTT, p.285-286)
    Even as early as the Eocene period there were several kinds of whales, including a slender fearsomely toothed beast (Zeuglodon), as much as 20 meters long.
    (DD-EVTT, p.296)
    Daniel Axelrod (d.1998), paleobotonist, in 1998 published "Eocene of Thunder Mountain Flora of Central Idaho."
    (SFC, 8/7/98, p.D3)

52Mil BC    In 2008 the fossil of a bat from this time indicated that it could fly but not navigate through echolocation. It was found in Wyoming and scientists named it Onychonycteridae finneyi, meaning clawed bat due to claws on all five fingers.
    (SFC, 2/14/08, p.A2)
52Mil BC    Fossil Lake in south-west Wyoming dated to about this time. It later become known for its millions of fossils preserved in layers of limestone and volcanic ash. In 2009 scientists believed that repeated die outs in the lake were caused by neurotoxins created by dinoflagellates.
    (Econ, 10/3/09, p.99)

51Mil BC - 50Mil BC    The first whales, the Archeoceti, came from the late-early Eocene. The earliest of the archeoceti are called pakicetids and are quite similar to mesonychians. They were found in Pakistan with a land-mammal fauna in continental deposits.
    (LSA, Spg/97, p.7)

50Mil BC    There was no ice on Earth’s north or south poles.
    (Econ, 9/9/06, p.11)
50Mil BC    Placentals split into four superorders about this time.
    (Econ, 3/31/07, p.88)
50Mil BC    The Tethys Sea southern edge was the habitat of Pakicetus inachus, a small, land mammal (whale ancestor, pakicetids) that walked on four legs and ate fish from the shallows of the Tethys. This area is presently a rocky, mountainous desert in Northern Pakistan. Pakicetus had ears apparently adapted for underwater use.
    (LSA., p. 36)(PacDis, Winter/’96, p.15)(SFC, 9/28/01, p.D5)
50Mil BC    Australia's 50 million years of utter isolation has led to the evolution of plant and animal life that is different than life-forms in relatively nearby parts of the world.
    (PacDis, Spring '94, p.3)
50Mil BC    In 2008 a well-preserved skull of a bird, named Dasornis emuinus, unearthed on the Isle of Sheppey, east of London, was dated to 50 million years ago. Dasornis was said to have been "like an ocean-going goose, almost the size of a small plane."
    (AFP, 9/26/08)
50Mil BC    The Fossil Butte Member of the Green River Formation in southwest Wyoming represents the sedimentary remains of an ancient lake community that dates to this time. Crocodiles inhabited Wyoming.
    (NH, 7/98, p.66)(Econ, 9/9/06, p.11)
50Mil BC     The dog traces its ancestry back to a 5-toed, weasel-like animal called Miacis, that lived about this time.
    (MT, Fall 02, p.14)
50Mil BC     The common ancestor of elephants and sea cows lived about this time. Researchers in 1999 reported that elephants showed evidence of an aquatic past and that their trunks were probably used as snorkeling devices.
    (SFC, 5/11/99, p.A8)
50Mil BC    In 2008 scientists reported that ancestral ant farmers emerged about this time. Over the next 25 million years they gave rise to at least 4 different farmer tribes.
    (SFC, 3/27/08, p.A5)
50Mil BC    A sheet of ice 2 miles thick covered Scotland.
    (Econ, 9/9/06, p.11)
50Mil BC    The Tibetan Plateau began to lift about this time as India thrust northward. This led to the creation of the Gobi Desert north of the plateau.
    (SFC, 5/19/06, p.B7)

50Mil BC - 49Mil BC    Ambulocetus natans, walking whale that swims, was found in earliest middle Eocene strata in Pakistan by Hans Thewissen.
    (LSA, Spg/97, p.7)

50Mil BC - 42Mil BC    The Green River Formation rocks are remnants of an ancient lake that covered more than 25,000 square miles of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. Lake Uinta, Lake Gosiute, and Fossil Lake were deposited in this period. The Green River formation is known for deposits such as coal and oil shale, and for limestone containing abundant fish fossils in mass mortality layers. Fossils include the herring-like Knightia alta, and less frequently, other fish such as Priscacara, Mioplosus, Phareodus, and Diplomystus. Rare ancestral manta rays, palm leaves and birds have also been found.
    (SFME, 5/7/95, P.5)

49Mil BC    A giant bloom of the Azolla fern at this time coincided with one of the biggest climate shifts known. Surface sea temperature in the Arctic dropped from 13°C to -9°C. In 2014 scientists suspected that the fern bloom was responsible for the temperature drop as it pulled CO2 from the atmosphere.
    (Econ, 6/21/14, p.78)
49Mil BC    The Ambulocetus natans, a walking and swimming whale, inhabited the warm seas which covered eastern Pakistan. In 1996 fossils of the creature, about the size of a modern sea lion, were found by paleontologist Hans Thewissen.
    (SFC, 5/12/09, p.A8)
49Mil BC    The mountains in British Columbia had already risen as high as 14,000 feet by this time.
    (SSFC, 1/16/11, p.C2)
49Mil BC    A spider from this time, a member of the genus Eusparassus, showed its face to the world in 2011, as scientists used high-tech X-ray methods to peer through the shroud of amber encasing the fossilized arachnid.

49Mil BC - 48Mil BC    Rodhocetus kasrani (whale from Rodho) of the family Porocetidae had broad frontal bones, widely-spaced eyes, hollow jaws, and massive ear bones. The four sacral vertebrae are not fused and allowed for tail-powered swimming.
    (LSA, Spg/97, p.8)

48Mil BC    Indohyus, a creature about the size of a raccoon, lived about this time and spent much of its time in the water. Fossils of Indohyus were later unearthed in Kashmir and revealed evolutionary similarities to what later developed into the earliest whales and dolphins.
    (SFC, 12/20/07, p.A23)

48Mil BC - 46Mil BC    Later protocetids that include Protocetus atavus, found in Egypt, and Gaviacetus razai, found in Pakistan, retained single sacral vertebrae that shows they had highly mobile motive tails.
    (LSA, Spg/97, p.8)

47.5Mil BC    Fossils of whales dating to this time were found in Pakistan in 2000 and 2004. The fossil of a pregnant female indicated that these whales gave birth on land.
    (LSA, Spring, 2009, p.9)

47Mil BC    In 2009 Scientists in New York unveiled the skeleton of what they said could be the common ancestor to humans, apes and other primates. The tiny creature, officially known as Darwinius masillae, but dubbed Ida, lived about this time and was unusually well preserved. The monkey-like creature, discovered in 1983, was preserved through the ages in Germany's Messel Pit, a crater rich in Eocene Epoch fossils. New analysis soon followed saying Darwinius does not belong in the same primate category as monkeys, apes and humans. Instead, the analysis concluded, it falls into the other major grouping, which includes lemurs.
    (AFP, 5/19/09)(AP, 10/21/09)

46Mil BC    Rodhocetus kasrani, a whale that walked on four legs on land, but swam with the undulating, up-and-down tail motion. Fossil bones discovered in 1992 in Pakistan by U of Mich. paleontologist Philip D. Gingerich and researchers from the Geological Survey of Pakistan.
    (LSA., S. Pobojewski, p. 36)

45Mil BC    A planet-wide cooling period began that led to cycles of ice ages.
    (SFC, 6/1/06, p.A5)

44Mil BC - 40Mil BC    Donald Savage, Russell Ciochon and team of Burmese scientists in 1978 discovered a primate jaw in Burma dating to this time.
    (SFC, 4/14/99, p.C5)

43Mil BC    Scientists in 2021 said they had discovered the 43 million-year-old fossil of a previously unknown amphibious four-legged whale species in Egypt that helps trace the transition of whales from land to sea. The new whale, named Phiomicetus anubis, had an estimated body length of some three meters (10 feet).
    (Reuters, 8/25/21)

42Mil BC    Paleontologist Daniel Gebo announced in 2000 the discovery of bones from 2 tiny primates, the size of a human thumb, that lived at this time in Shanghuang, China. The Eosimias primates also lived here about this time.
    (SFC, 3/16/00, p.A1)

42Mil BC    A bird ancestral to the dodo flew from Africa about this time to the Mascarene Islands east of Madagascar. By 1681 the dodo was extinct.
    (SFC, 3/1/02, p.A2)

40Mil BC    The whale species Basilosaurus (king lizard) isis was discovered in 1904. Paleontologists found bones of this creature in the 1830s in Louisiana. Fossils were found by U of Mich. paleontologist P.D. Gingerich in Egypt in 1989. With tiny hind limbs too weak to support its body on land, Gingerich believes it spent its entire life in the ocean. It reached about 40 feet.
     (LSA., p. 36)(PacDis, Winter/’96, p.15,16)
40Mil BC    In 2005 the successful excavation of an unusually complete and well-preserved skeleton of the 40 million-year-old fossil whale Basilosaurus isis was completed in Egypt. The 18 meter (50 feet) skeleton was found in Wadi Hitan in the Western Sahara of Egypt. The first Basilosaurus fossil was found in 1905 but no full skeleton has been discovered until now.
    (MT, 4/05)
40Mil BC    A whale fossil of this age was found in May, 1983, along the Savannah River in Georgia.
    (SFC, 10/2/98, p.A10)
40Mil BC    Amber of the Baltic Sea formed about this time.
    (PacDis, Winter/’97, p.8)
40Mil BC    A climate change caused the end of the large lake system in Wyoming, Colorado and Utah.
    (NH, 7/98, p.68)
40Mil BC    The entire Tibetan Plateau underwent major uplifting as the Indian subcontinent bumped into Eurasia. Vast ranges rose from the Himalayas on the east to Afghanistan’s Hindu Kush and Iran’s Elburz mountains on the west.
    (SFC, 5/19/06, p.B7)(Econ, 1/26/17, p.31)

40Mil BC - 38Mil BC    Dorudon atrox, dating to this time, is a classic archeocyte. Fossils of the whale-like creature, later found in the western desert of Egypt, indicated a broad skull with multicusped molars, a streamlined body, forelimbs modified into flippers and a massive tail. It was of the kind first reported from scattered remains in farmfields of the southeastern US.
    (LSA, Spg/97, p.8)(NG, 11/04, p.25)

40Mil BC - 35Mil BC    Cynodictis resembled a modern dog and lived about this time.
    (MT, Fall 02, p.14)

40Mil BC - 30Mil BC    Bark beetles that farm fungus gardens evolved during this period.
    (SFC, 3/27/08, p.A5)

40Mil BC - 5Mil BC    The rigid rocks of the Sierra Nevada, thrust upwards during periods estimated over this time, are riding westward like a surfboard under the impact of the spreading crust behind it.
    (SFC, 5/3/96, A-4)

38Mil BC    Fossils of jawbones and teeth, dubbed Ganlea megacanina, dating to this time were found in 2005 near Bagan, Myanmar. They suggested that the common ancestors of humans, monkeys and apes, known as anthropoids, evolved from primates in Asia, rather than Africa.
    (AP, 7/1/09)

38Mil BC - 23Mil BC        Oligocene (little or few-recent) Epoch
    (ADH, GHMC,1979, p.24)
    Road cuts on Route 9 between Saratoga and Santa Cruz at Riverside Grove: Sandstone and shale. Road cuts along Route 17 about 5 miles south of Los Gatos: sandstone and shale.
    (GH-ADH, p.25)

36Mil BC    In 2005 scientists in Peru reported the discovery of a giant penguin that lived about this time on the Peruvian coastline. The bird was named Icadyptes salasi. It stood over 5-feet and lived during one of the warmest periods of the world’s history.
    (SFC, 6/25/07, p.A10)
36Mil BC    A roughly well-preserved skull dating to about this time was dug up intact from the bone-dry rocks of the southern Ocucaje desert, with rows of long, pointy teeth. The ferocious marine predator, an ancient ancestor of modern-day whales, once lived in a prehistoric ocean that covered part of what is now Peru. It was believed to belong to a new species of basilosaurus.
    (Reuters, 3/17/22)

36Mil BC - 22Mil BC         Oligocene (little or few-recent) Epoch   
    (E&IH, 1973, p.42)(LSA, Spg/97, p.6)(LSA, Spg/97, p.8)

35.7Mil BC    Two meteors impacted the Earth. One landed in Siberia and the other in the Chesapeake Bay. A major extinction also occurred about this time. [see 35 mil]
    (NPR, Nature, 7/23/97)(SFEC, 8/22/99, Par p.12)

35Mil BC    In Colorado, a dozen miles from Pike’s Peak, a warm temperate climate supported forests of now-extinct species of white-cedar, pine, palm, maple, hickory, and members of the beech and elm family. Redwood trees grew along streams. Animals included the piglike oreodont, rhinoceros like brontothere, and an ancestor of the horse. Volcanic eruptions were common. Lake Florissant formed from a mudflow that dammed a creek flowing through a valley. It later a dried and provided evidence of 1,100 kinds of insects, 16 vertebrates, and 150 species of plants.
    (NH, 8/96, p.62)
35Mil BC    The first evidence of human ancestry from Africa dates to about this time. In 1998 John Reader published "Africa: A Biography of a Continent."
    (SFEC, 6/28/98, BR p.12)
35Mil BC    A meteorite impacted at what is now Chesapeake Bay and formed the largest impact crater in the US. The discovery of the 53-mile wide Chesapeake Bay Impact Crater was announced in 1995.
    (SFEC, 7/5/98, p.A10)(SFC, 11/7/05, p.A4)
35Mil BC    The oldest mysticetes, filter-feeding baleen whales with teeth (aetiocetids) instead of baleen, date to about this time from Antarctica.
35Mil BC    A volcanic range of Pacific islands east of the Philippines was pushed up about this time and came to form the archipelago of Palau.
    (SSFC, 3/1/15, p.L4)

35Mil BC - 29Mil BC    It was during the Oligocene that the earliest mysticetes (filter feeders) and odontocetes (echo-locating fish feeders) evolved from archeocetes. At this time the circulation and the formation of water in the oceans changed greatly. This altered the distribution of heat on the earth’s surface and the global climate.
    (LSA, Spg/97, p.8)

34Mil BC - 23Mil BC    Indricotherium, a 15-foot tall mammal, lived during this period. It was later said to be the largest known mammal and related to the modern day rhinoceros.
    (SFC, 4/2/10, p.C5)

34Mil BC - 24Mil BC    The first termite farmers evolved in the rain forests of Africa during this period.
    (SFC, 3/27/08, p.A5)

33Mil BC    Egypt’s Faiyum Depression shows sediments of tropical rain forests. Aegyptopithecus, a small fruit eating animal of the tropical forest of North Africa. Dubbed the "dawn-ape" this animal's snout is lemur-like, but the enclosed eye-sockets and certain dental features, including 32 teeth - typical of apes and man - make it a likely link with Miocene apes such as Proconsul.
    (NG, Nov. 1985, p. 563, 580)
33Mil BC    Five types of mammal fossils have been found in the Badlands of South Dakota. They are: Archaeotherium (resembling but not related to a pig of warthog to hippo size), Subhyracodon (an early relative of the rhinoceros), Mesohippus (a three-toed horse), Leptomeryx (a small deer-like creature), and an unidentified rodent.
    (Nat. Hist., 4/96, p.36)

32.5Mil BC     During the mid-Cenozoic India encountered the southern margin of Asia, and an open Tethys no longer existed. The collision of India with Asia squeezed up the Tethyan sediments into the arcs of the Himalayas.
    (DD-EVTT, p.288)
    A seaway linked the Arctic Ocean and Tethys east of the Urals until Oligocene time when uplift and the closure of the Tethyan geosyncline put an end to it. Siberia was from now on no longer separated from Europe and when the climate began to cool the very large land mass that was now Eurasia felt the extremes inherent in a continental climate.
    (DD-EVTT, p.290)
    In late Eocene and early Oligocene times the archaic mammals were largely replaced by the ancestors of our modern mammals.
    (DD-EVTT, p.296)

32Mil BC - 16Mil BC    The South China Sea was created over this period as the sea floor spread due to tectonic plates moving apart.
    (Econ, 2/12/11, p.90)

31Mil BC - 28 Mil BC    California’s northern Sierra rose by nearly 10,500 feet over this period.
    (SSFC, 1/16/11, p.C2)

>30Mil BC    The Badlands of South Dakota was for the most part a vast, featureless floodplain forged by wide, slow-moving rivers from the west.
    (Nat. Hist., 4/96, p.31)
>30Mil BC    Wonder Cave near San Marcos, Texas, was created on the Balcones fault line during an earthquake over 30 million years ago.
    (Sp., 5/96, p.56)

~30Mil BC    The Mendocino triple junction (MTJ), the meeting of the Pacific, North American and Gorda plates, was born about this time and began moving up the California coast. It was later believed to be responsible for the northern California Coast Range.
    (SFC, 10/13/03, p.A6)
30Mil BC    A giant snake, later named Yurlunggur, lived in Australia about this time. In 2006 it was reported fossils of the snake added a link to how snakes descended from dearly lizards.
    (SFC, 2/16/06, p.A4)
30Mil BC    The hedgehog Proterix loomisi lived in North America and had developed bony plates in its head for digging and seems to have lacked limbs.
    (NH, 7/98, p.56)
30Mil BC    Sperm whale fossils date back to this time.
    (PacDis, Winter/’96, p.18)
30Mil BC    By 30 million years ago the subcontinent (India) reached what was the southern coast of Asia and began to slide beneath it. This southern shore, once at sea level, took the full force of the collision and is now the Karakorams, the Black Gravel Range.
    (NH, 5/96, p.10)
30Mil BC    The Mendocino Triple Junction, a convergence of three tectonic plates, the Gorda plate, Pacific plate and North American plate, formed in Baha, California, when an ocean spreading center in the Pacific plate collided with continent’s edge. It now sits close to shore off of Cape Mendocino in Northern California.
    (Pac. Disc., summer, ‘96, p.4)
30Mil BC    Fossils in Europe, Asia and North America indicate that roses existed.
    (TGR, 1995, p.1)
30Mil BC    In what is now Cappadocia, Turkey, 3 volcanoes: Erciyes, Melendiz and Hasan, erupted. The ash and rock later eroded and left the harder rock in formations now called "fairy chimneys."
    (SFEC, 9/14/97, p.T14)
30Mil BC    Camels and llamas split apart as species about this time.
    (SFC, 1/24/98, p.A15)

30Mil BC - 25Mil BC    Lawrence Barnes and co-workers uncovered an early baleen whale in rock of this age near Charleston, South Carolina.
    (PacDis, Winter/’96, p.18)

29Mil BC    Movement within the San Andreas fault system began in Southern California when the East Pacific Rise, separating the Pacific and Farallon plates, reached the continental border.
    (GH-ADH, p.234)

28Mil BC    The La Garita event in Colorado state in the US, erupted about this time, flushing out 5,000 cubic kilometers of ash.  The eruption that created the La Garita Caldera is among the largest known volcanic eruptions in Earth's history, as well as being one of the most powerful known supervolcanic events

27Mil BC    Six species of prehistoric mammals from this were discovered in 2003 in the Chilga region of Ethiopia's northwestern highlands. They included 3 species of Palaeomastadon, one species Deinotherium, one Gompotherium, and an example of Arsinoitherium.
    (SFC, 12/5/03, p.D5)

27Mil BC-24Mil BC    A large penguin lived in New Zealand during this time when the area was mostly underwater and consisted of isolated, rocky outcrops that offered protection from predators and plentiful food supplies. The first traces of the penguin, dubbed Kairuku (Maori for diver who returns with food) was found embedded in a cliff at Waimate in the South Island by University of Otago paleontologist professor Ewen Fordyce in 1977.
    (AFP, 2/28/12)

26Mil BC    Two separate species of dodo bird evolved about this time. One on Mauritius and the other on Rodrigues.
    (SFC, 3/1/02, p.A2)

25Mil BC    If there was any moment in the Cainazoic when the mammals could be said to have reached their zenith, it would be in the Miocene period, some 25 million years ago.
    (DD-EVTT, p.296)
25Mil BC    In 1997 a teenage surfer named Staumn Hunter found a whale fossil in a limestone rock at Jan Juc Beach, Australia. Researchers named it Janjucetus hunderi in his honor. In 2006 researchers said it was an ancestor of modern baleen whales. The fossil suggests a creature that grew to a little more than 11 feet with teeth about an inch-and-a-half long.
25Mil BC    In 2007 Scientists reported that a fossil from this time, found in Queensland, Australia, in the 1990s, has revealed that a predecessor of the hopping kangaroo once galloped on all fours, had dog-like fangs and possibly climbed trees.
    (AP, 12/6/07)
25Mil BC    The lineage of tail-bearing monkeys split about this time from a line that went on to develop toward apes and humans.
    (SFC, 11/22/04, p.A4)

24Mil BC    A period of violent earthquakes shook the region that later became China’s Yunnan province and created the Ailao Shan range of Southwest China.
    (SFC, 5/19/06, p.B7)

24Mil BC - 5Mil BC     Miocene epoch, during this period an array of early ape species spread throughout the old world. Sometime during the last half of the epoch the ancestral line of pongid (ape) and hominid (man and his ancestors) split.
    (NG, Nov. 1985, K.F. Weaver, p.563)
24Mil BC - 5Mil BC    The cliffs at Plum Point, Maryland contain Miocene sediments and fossils. Here Toger Sasson found the five inch tooth of the giant Miocene shark Carcharadon megalodon. It was flawless and preserved in microscopic detail.
    (SFME, 5/7/95, p.14)

23Mil BC    A large group of primitive apes appeared in East Africa sometime before this and expanded into many genera and species.
    (USAT, 8/27/99, p.4A)
23Mil BC    Researchers in 2019 said a giant lion, which they named Simbakubwa kutokaafrika, lived in what is modern-day Kenya around this time, a key period in the evolution of carnivorous mammals.
    (AFP, 4/18/19)
23Mil BC    Otodus megalodon, a shark that measured over 18 meters, appeared about this time and continued to about 3 million BC.
    (Econ., 11/28/20, p.72)
23Mil BC    A volcano erupted that later became known as the Pinnacles of central California. It was on the San Andres fault line and half stayed in southern California as the other half migrated north.
    (SSFC, 4/15/01, p.T4)
23Mil BC    In China the Red and Yangzi rivers separated about this time. The Yangzi made a u-turn from flowing south and began flowing north-east. In 2013 sediment analysis confirmed this change.
    (Econ, 10/12/13, p.58)

23Mil BC - 5Mil BC        Miocene Epoch.
    (ADH, GHMC,1979, p.24)
    Volcanic outpourings have been prolific in the California region since Miocene time, and the Sierra Nevada has a blanket of lava and ashes about 1000 meters thick.
    (DD-EVTT, p.204)
Mastadons, mammoths and rhinos roved Nevada during the Miocene.
    (SFEC, 4/16/00, p.C5)
    In California lower part Claremont canyon: chert, limestone. Quarry on west side of Inverness Ridge on Pt. Reyes Rd: chert, shale. La Honda area: basalt. Natural Bridges State park, Santa Cruz: shale. Road cuts in Monterey town: sandstone, shale. Pinnacles National Monument: Rhyolite volcanic rocks.
    (GH-ADH, p.24)

22Mil BC - 6Mil BC        Miocene (less-recent) Epoch         
    (E&IH, 1973, p.42)(LSA, Spg/97, p.6)

22Mil BC    The evolution of grasses in the Miocene allowed for the evolution of horses on hard, dry plains.
    (NH, 6/96, p.24)
21Mil BC    The impact of the modern San Andreas Fault, as distinguished from possible precursors, probably did not reach Middle California until about 21 million years ago.
    (GH-ADH, p.34)
21Mil BC    A fossil of a creature called Morotopithecus bishopi, a tree-dwelling, ape-like creature that lived in what is now Uganda, was found in the 1960s and indicated that its transverse process had moved backward, behind the opening for the spinal cord. In 2007 Dr. Aaron Filler authored "The Upright Ape: a new origin of the Species," in which he argued that this common ancestor, and ancestors going back many millions of years before, walked upright. Homo sapiens, the human species, continued upright, while apes evolved back toward all fours.
    (AP, 7/16/07)
21Mil BC    A star in the Pinwheel Galaxy, a neighbor of the Milky Way, exploded into a supernova. First seen on Aug 24, 2011, it was identified as a type 1a supernova and named SN2011FE.
    (SFC, 9/5/11, p.A7)

20.6Mil BC    A common ancestor to man and the apes, Morotopithecus bishopi, lived about this time. Its remains were unearthed in Uganda and indicate an animal about 4 feet tall, and weighing 90-110 pounds. It’s suspected to have been a cautious climber and mostly fruit-eater.
    (SFC, 4/18/97, p.A5)

20Mil BC    The gorilla lineage evolved from a common ancestor of orangutans about this time.
    (SFC, 8/23/07, p.A16)
20Mil BC    Ugandapithecus Major, a remote cousin of modern great apes, roamed Uganda about this time. The fossilized skull of a male Ugandapithecus Major was discovered in 2011.
    (AFP, 8/2/11)
20Mil BC    Late Paleozoic rocks are widely exposed in the Santa Lucia Range, but occur only as small patches in the Gabilan and Santa Cruz ranges. They are not native to this area and moved into Middle California only about 20 million years ago.
    (GH-ADH, p.23)
20Mil BC    The desert tortoise has been an occupant of the Mohave desert since at least this time.
    (Pac. Disc., summer, ‘96, p.26)
20Mil BC    Researchers agree that by this time cetaceans looked quite similar to those in the oceans today.
    (PacDis, Winter/’96, p.18)
c20Mil BC    Hot water escaping from magma laid down rivulets of metal in the Cerro Rico Mountain of Bolivia.
    (NH, 11/96, p.38)
c20Mil BC    Dominican amber was formed about this time. It came from an extinct species of the legume tree, genus Hymenaea, on the island of Hispaniola. A similar deposit occurs in southern Mexico and these amber types contain a greater variety of life than does Baltic amber.
    (PacDis, Winter/’97, p.11)
20Mil BC    A volcanic eruption around this time smothered Lesbos island and its subtropical forest ecosystem in lava. In 2021 Greek scientists found a rare fossilized tree on Lesbos whose branches and roots were still intact.
    (Reuters, 1/26/21)
20Mil BC    Grenada was formed as an underwater volcano.
    (SSFC, 12/11/05, p.F4)

20Mil BC - 15Mil BC    In Antarctica a geologic basin formed during a tectonic upheaval that later led to the formation of the sub-glacial Lake Vostok.
    (SFC, 8/2/04, p.A6)

20Mil B C - 10Mil BC    A team of Australian paleontologists in 2006 said they had found the fossilized remains of a fanged killer kangaroo and what they describe as a "demon duck of doom" that lived during this period in Queensland state.
    (AP, 7/12/06)

20Mil BC - 8Mil BC    Candidates for intermediate ancestors of man include Proconsul and Kenyapithecus from Kenya; Ramapithecus and Sivapithecus from India, Pakistan, China and Kenya; and Rudapithecus and Dryopithecus from Europe.
    (NG, Nov. 1985, p. 582)

18Mil BC    In 2004 Scientists searching for fossils high in the Chilean Andes mountains unearthed the remains of a tank-like mammal related to armadillos that grazed about this time. Parapropalaehoplophorus septentrionalis, was a primitive relative of a line of heavily armored mammals that culminated in the massive, impregnable Gyptodon, which died out only about 8,000 BC.
    (AP, 12/12/07)

17Mil BC    The centerpiece of Dr. Golenberg's research is DNA from a 17 million year old magnolia leaf.
    (WSUAN, Fall/95, p.5)

16Mil BC    Orangutans estimated divergence from hominids.
    (NG, Nov. 1985, p. 585)
16Mil BC    The Indian Ocean was in a state of upheaval driven by volcanic activity. Two coelacanth species may have diverged about this time, one near the region of the Comoro Islands and the other off the Indonesian coast of Sulawesi.
    (SFC, 11/1/99, p.A2)

16Mil BC    A huge asteroid hit Mars and blasted rock into space about this time. The 1984 meteorite labeled Allan Hills (ALH) 84001 was knocked into space and landed in Antarctica around 11,000BC.
    (SFC, 8/7/96, p.A9)(WSJ, 8/7/96, p.A1)(SSFC, 2/19/06, p.M6)

16Mil BC - 14Mil BC    Gibbons and siamang lines split from the apes.
    (SFC, 11/22/04, p.A4)

15.5Mil BC    Southeastern Washington and Oregon were covered by huge lava flows estimated at some 40,000 cubic miles. Some beds were over a mile thick. The weight led to a sag in the earth and the ancient Lake Vantage formed.
    (ST, 7/29/04, NWW p.18)(SSFC, 9/12/04, p.D9)

15Mil BC    In 2005 the fragmentary remains of a 3-toed horse from this time were reported from the central valley of California. Merychippus californicus stood 3 ½ feet at the shoulder.
    (SFC, 2/23/05, p.B1)
15Mil BC    Lake Vostok became sealed from the surface of Antarctica about this time.
    (Econ, 3/31/07, p.87)
15Mil BC    The fossil of a large bird from this time was found in Patagonia, Argentina, in 2004. The skull of the 10-foot-tall, flightless predator measured 28 inches and was identified in 2006 as an offshoot of the phorusrhacids (terror birds).
    (SFC, 10/26/06, p.A8)
15Mil BC    In Australia sheep-sized relatives of modern-day wombats lived treetops about this time. The wombat-like marsupial was later named Nimbadon lavarackorum. The world's largest tree-climbing marsupial were among fossils found at the Riversleigh World Heritage Site in Queensland state. The Nimbadon fossil material was found in 2010.
    (SFC, 7/17/10, p.A2)(AFP, 5/3/12)
15Mil BC    In Germany in 1725 the first fossil salamander was found. It was at first identified as human but later correctly identified as the extinct cryptobranchid named Andrias scheuchzeri and dated to 15 million years of age.
    (PacDis, Winter ’97, p.36)
15Mil BC    The Baha Peninsula began separating from the Mexican mainland.
    (SFEC, 5/18/97, p.T8)
15Mil BC    An ape genus called Equatorius was thought in 1999 to be among the first primates to leave the treetops and live on the ground. Some scientists placed Equatorius into the Kenyapithecus genus.
    (SFC, 8/27/99, p.A7)

14Mil BC    In 1990 paleontologists found bones from a 35-foot whale in a quarry in eastern Virginia. It took several years to prepare and identify them as a new species. It was named Eobalaenoptera harrisoni, after Carter Harrison, a Virginia Museum of Natural History volunteer.
    (AP, 6/14/04)

14Mil BC - 10Mil BC    Ape species moved from Africa into Europe and Asia. They initially thrived but later became extinct.
    (SFC, 8/27/99, p.A7)

13Mil BC    In 2014 anthropologists in Northern Kenya discovered a complete skull of a baby ape dating back 13 million years. It belonged to an undiscovered species and was named Nyanazpithecus alesi.
    (http://tinyurl.com/ydfq4ev8)(SFC, 8/19/17, p.A9)
13Mil BC    In 2004 Spanish anthropologists announced the discovery of fossils from this time of a new ape species they named Pierolapithecus catalaunicus. Bones suggested an adult male of 75 pounds adapted for tree climbing while upright and knuckle walking on the ground. The ape also had a modern ape-like thorax.
    (SFC, 11/22/04, p.A4)

12Mil BC    Volcanic activity results in the formation of the tuff of Yucca Mountain, 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas, and proposed site for the long term storage of radio-active waste.
    (Smith., 5/95, p.41-44)
12Mil BC    Gorilla and chimpanzees split from a common ancestor about this time.
    (SFC, 8/23/07, p.A16)
12Mil BC    A raptorial sperm whale living about this time grew up to 60 feet with some teeth 14 inches long. Fossils were discovered in a Peruvian desert and in 2010 scientists named it Leviathan melvillei.
    (SFC, 7/1/10, p.A3)
12Mil BC    Studies in 2011 of tiny pollen fossils buried deep beneath the seafloor suggested that the last remnant of vegetation in Antarctica vanished about this time.

12Mil BC - 10Mil BC    Current scenarios have humans and orangutans split from other apes about this time.
    (SFC, 7/25/96. p.A3)

~11Mil BC - 10Mil BC    Orangutans split from the line of great apes.
    (SFC, 11/22/04, p.A4)

10Mil BC    In 2007 Ethiopian fossil hunter found molars of a large ape that bespoke gorilla origins from about this time. They named the large ape Chororapithecus abyssinicus.
    (SFC, 8/23/07, p.A16)
10Mil BC    Ankarapithecus meteai, a 60-pound-fruit-eating ape, roamed the woodlands of central Turkey about 30 miles north of Ankara. A face and mandible were discovered in 1995. The ape was said to exist long before the evolutionary split that separated humans from chimps.
    (SFC, 7/25/96. p.A3)
10Mil BC    Oceanic spreading began a process of mountain building in southern California, including formation of the San Andreas Fault, migration of the Baja California peninsula away from the mainland of Mexico, the loss of summer rainfall and the diversification of species.
    (Fremontia, 4/2009, p.20)
10Mil BC    In the Mohave National Preserve volcanic formations of this age formed caves of congealed lava over 25,600 acres.
    (SFC, 4/21/99, p.A17)
10Mil BC    The Great Rift Valley lakes of Africa originated about this time.
    (NH, 7/98, p.68)
10Mil BC    In 2009 researchers in Peru said an unusually intact fossilized skull of a pelagornithid, a giant, bony-toothed seabird that lived up to 10 million years ago, had been found in the in the Pisco Formation, a coastal rock bed south of the capital, Lima, known for yielding fossils of whales, dolphins, turtles and other marine life dating as far back as 14 million years.
    (AP, 2/28/09)
10Mil BC    The Ankarapithecus skull, dating to about this time, was found in the Turkish desert in 1996. The remains show many similarities to Sivapithecus from South Asia, and have sometimes been included in that genus.

10-5 Million    The Galapagos islands emerged as volcanoes from the ocean. They are at the junction of two continental plates, over a stationary "hot spot" in the earth’s core.
    (SFC, 12/4/94, p. T-5)

9.8Mil BC    In 2007 Researchers in Kenya unveiled a 10-million-year-old jaw bone they believe belonged to a new species of great ape that could be the last common ancestor of gorillas, chimpanzees and humans. A Kenyan and Japanese team found the fragment, dating back to between 9.8 and 9.88 million years, in 2005 along with 11 teeth. The fossils were unearthed in volcanic mud flow deposits in the northern Nakali region of Kenya.
    (Reuters, 11/13/07)

9Mil BC    The predaceous hedgehog Deinogalerix lived in the Mediterranean Islands and grew to a large size.
    (NH, 7/98, p.56)
9Mil BC    The first creatures in the human lineage lived about this time.
    (SFC, 8/23/07, p.A16)

8Mil BC    In 2007 Hungarian scientists discovered a group of fossilized swamp cypress trees preserved from this time. The trees dated to the late Miocene geological period at a time when the Carpathian basin, present day Hungary, was a freshwater lake surrounded by swamps.
    (Reuters, 7/31/07)
8 Million    Antelopes split off from the sheep and goat lineages about this time, when the Tibetan plateau had almost reached its present height.
    (NH, 5/96, p.52)
c8 Million BP    Phoberomis pattersoni, a giant rodent related to later guinea pigs, wallowed in the coastal marshes of northwestern Venezuela.
    (SFC, 9/19/03, p.A2)

8-7 Million    The area where Los Angeles is in 1997 was at least a half-mile under water at this time.
    (SFC, 2/12/97, p.A1)

7.6Mil BC    In July, 2002, scientists led by Michael Brunet reported a hominid species, dating to about this time, found in the Djurab desert, Sahel region of northern Chad. They named the group Sahelanthropus tchadensis (with the nickname Toumai, "hope of life" in the Goran language). Other scientists later denied it was a human ancestor. DNA analysis in 2006 suggested that Toumai, with its human and chimp features, preceded the human-chimp split. The analysis also suggested that human lineage stemmed from a human-chimp hybrid.
    (SFC, 7/11/02, p.A1)(WSJ, 7/11/02, p.B1)(SFC, 10/10/02, p.A2)(SFC, 5/18/06, p.A3)(SFC, 2/8/13, p.D5)

7.5-3.5 Mil    A biogenic bloom is believed to be part of this period, early Pliocene, when the Earth's high-latitude regions were much warmer than they are today. Biogenic blooms are also suggested for the Indian Ocean, the Pacific coasts of North and South America, and in the equatorial Pacific.
    (LSA, Fall 1995, p.35)

7 Million    Rhinos disappeared from North America.
    (SFEC, 6/15/97, Z1 p.4)

7Mil BC - 2Mil BC    At least 75 whales mysteriously died together some time in this period on the Pacific coast of Chile. Their fossils were discovered in 2011.
    (AP, 11/21/11)

6Mil BC    Beginning of the Pliocene (more-recent) Epoch     
    (E&IH, 1973, p.42)

6Mil BC    In 2000 French researchers found bones in the Rift Valley of Central Kenya that they called their Millennial Ancestor and believed to be a direct precursor of humans. Dr. Martin Pickford and co-discoverers named the fossil Orrorin tugenensis (orrorin means original man in the Tugen language). The bones were found in the Lukeino Formation of the Tugen Hills.
    (SFC, 2/7/01, p.A10)(SSFC, 4/8/01, p.A12)(AM, 7/01, p.25)(AM, 5/01, p.58)
6Mil BC    The Mediterranean Sea at this time was completely dried up. In 2010 fossils were found in rocks of the Mediterranean seabed dating to this time.
    (SFC, 4/28/10, p.A6)

6Mil BC - 5Mil BC    Terminal Miocene Event. According to C.K. Brain, a profound cooling caused a rapid buildup of ice in Antarctica. Sea levels dropped 50-60 meters and rainfall in many places was strongly affected.
    (NG, Nov. 1985, K.F. Weaver, p. 582)
6Mil BC - 5Mil BC    Humans split from chimpanzees and bonobos about this time.
    (SFC, 7/25/96. p.A3)(NH, 11/96, p.12)
6Mil BC - 5Mil BC    The carving of the Grand Canyon dramatically accelerated during this period. By modern times it stretched 277-miles, 18 miles at its widest point, with depths up to 6,000 feet. In 2008 evidence suggested that the canyon could be 17 million years old.
    (SFC, 3/7/08, p.A6)

6Mil BC – 4 Mil BC    Fossil evidence later indicated that humanities upright stance began to evolve during this period.
    (Econ, 2/16/13, p.80)

6Mil BC - 2Mil BC     Pliocene (more-recent) Epoch     
    (E&IH, 1973, p.42)

6Mil BC     By Pliocene time, the continents had assumed their present outlines but a new phenomenon began to affect the earth. The climate grew colder.
    (DD-EVTT, p.285)

5.8Mil BC - 5.2Mil BC    In 2001 Yohannes Haile-Selassie and Giday WoldeGabriel reported possible human fossils from this period found at Asa Koma (Red Hill), Ethiopia. They were tentatively named as a subspecies of Ardipithecus ramidus kadabba. Kadabba means progenitor in the Afar language. In 2004 Ardipithecus kadabba was named a new species base on teeth fragments.
    (SFC, 7/12/01, p.A4)(AM, 9/01, p.16)(SFC, 2/05/04, p.A2)

5.5Mil BC    The main Hawaiian Islands began to form as the Pacific tectonic plate moved over a “hotspot" in the Earth’s mantle. The 5 largest islands formed in order: Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Maui and the Big Island. Molokai and Maui were originally joined.
    (NH, 10/1/04, p.33)

5Mil BC    Molecular biologists in the 20th century reckoned that hominids became distinct from apes about this time.
    (Econ, 7/21/07, p.80)
5Mil BC    Lake Ohrid was created about this time. The 18-mile-long mountain lake bordered Albania and Macedonia.
    (SSFC, 8/31/14, p.L3)

5Mil BC - 3.5Mil BC    The Westerlund 1 cluster of superstars in the Milky Way, was formed during this period. The system, located 16,000 light years away in the constellation of Ara, the Altar, was discovered by a Swedish astronomer in 1961. It contained a magnetar, a neutron star with a mighty magnetic field.
    (AFP, 8/18/10)(Econ, 9/18/10, p.99)

5Mil BC - 1.8Mil BC    The Pliocene Epoch.
    (ADH, GHMC,1979, p.24)
    Road cuts between Tomales and Dillon Beach: sandstone. Road cuts in upper Claremont Canyon: sandstone, shale, conglomerate. Bald Peak and Grizzly Peak: basalt. Little Grizzly Peak: rhyolite breccia. Road cuts between Rodeo and Oleum: tuff. Coast south of Half Moon Bay: black shale.
    (GH-ADH, p.24)
    Geological evidence show temperatures were much warmer at mid-latitude and sub-polar regions during the early Pliocene than they are today.
    (LSA, Fall 1995, p.35)
    The sandy peninsula of Lake Wales Ridge of Florida evolved in isolation from the rest of the world when the rest of Florida was covered by ocean during the Pliocene.
    (PacDisc, Spring ‘96, p.6)

4.62Mil BC-4.48Mil BC    A reversal in the Earth's magnetic field occurred during this period.
    (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_geomagnetic_reversals)(E&IH, 1973, p.94)

4.4Mil BC    A partial skeleton in some 125 pieces was found by a group led by Tim White, Gen Suwa and Berhane Asfaw in the Middle Awash at Aramis, Ethiopia, in late 1994. They named it Ardipithecus ramidus, which put it in a new genus and means ground ape root. A new argon-argon dating technique was used. In 2009 scientists reported that the hominid Ardipithecus ramidus, dubbed "Ardi," represents the earliest skeleton of a human ancestor. The 110-pound, 4-foot female roamed forests a million years before the famous Lucy. In 2010 other specialists challenged White’s analysis.
    (SFC, 10/22/95, p.4-5)(SFC, 9/1/97, p.A2)(SFC, 4/23/99, p.A21)(AM, 7/01, p.25)(AP, 10/2/09)(SFC, 5/28/10, p.A4)

4.38Mil BC    An alteration in the Earth's magnetic field occurred.
    (E&IH, 1973, p.94)

4.25Mil BC    An alteration in the Earth's magnetic field occurred.
    (E&IH, 1973, p.94)

4.2Mil BC - 3.9 Mil BC    Meave Leakey and Alan Walker found a previously unknown species named Australopithecus anamensis, near Kenya's East Lake Turkana, in the form of jaw bones, teeth, arm and leg fragments. The leg bones suggested that it was clearly an ape-like but two-legged creature, making it the oldest proven bipedal prehuman. It was thought by the Chinese to have descended from an ancestor named Lufengpithecus.
    (SFC, 10/22/95, p.4-5)(WSJ, 6/16/98, p.A8)

4.1Mil BC - 3Mil BC    Fossils of Australopithecus anamensis and A. afarensis, later found in Ethiopia, showed that structures in the wrist bones had once supported knuckle walking.
    (SFC, 3/23/00, p.A4)(SFC, 4/12/06, p.A2)

4.05Mil BC    An alteration in the Earth's magnetic field occurred.
    (E&IH, 1973, p.94)

4Mil BC    Human tool use goes back about this far.
    (NH, 8/96, p.29)
4Mil BC    Tiny foot bones and a tiny pelvis indicate that humans walked upright by this time.
    (NH, 6/97, p.16)
4Mil BC    In 2007 Italian researchers found the skeleton of a 33-foot prehistoric whale about 100 yards below ground in the Tuscan countryside. The skeleton dated to 4 million years ago, to the Pliocene epoch.
    (AP, 4/3/07)
4Mil BC    In 2008 Paleontologists reported the skull of a giant rodent of this time found in a broken boulder on Kiyu Beach on the coast of Uruguay's River Plate region. It was estimated to have weighed an average of 1,008 kilos (1.008 tons, 2,217 pounds) and was dubbed Josephoartigasia monesi, in honor of Alvaro Mones, a Uruguayan paleontologist who specialized in South American rodents.
    (AP, 1/16/08)

4Mil BC - 3Mil BC    Mammoth first appeared in Africa. They have 58 chromosomes and are believed to be cousins of elephants, who have 56.
    (SFC, 10/21/99, p.A17)
4Mil BC - 3Mil BC    Mount Whitney, Ca., and sister peaks in the Sierra Nevada were formed during this period as a chunk of Earth’s crust broke loose sinking into the mantle generating upward forces.
    (SFC, 7/30/04, p.A4)

4Mil BC - 2Mil BC    A crocodile that grew to over 27 feet lived in Kenya during this period. Fossilized remains were reported in 2012.
    (SFC, 5/9/12, p.A2)

3.92Mil BC    An alteration in the Earth's magnetic field occurred.
    (E&IH, 1973, p.94)

3.8Mil BC - 4Mil BC    In 2005 hominid bones indicting bipedalism were discovered at a new site called Mille, in the northeastern Afar region of Ethiopia. They were estimated to be 3.8-4 million years old.
    (AP, 3/6/05)

3.8Mil BC    In 2019 scientists announced the landmark discovery in Ethiopia of a nearly complete skull of an early human ancestor that lived about this time. The species boasted an intriguing mixture of apelike and humanlike characteristics. The fossil dubbed MRD belonged to the species Australopithecus anamensis, which first appeared roughly 4.2 million years ago.
    (Reuters, 8/28/19)

3.70Mil BC    An alteration in the Earth's magnetic field occurred.
    (E&IH, 1973, p.94)
3.7 Mil BC    In northern Tanzania thirteen footprints dating to about this time were found at a site called Laetoli in 2015. Their size indicated they were made by a male member of Australopithecus afarensis who stood 5-foot-5 and weighed about 100 pounds.
    (SFC, 12/15/16, p.A4)

3.6Mil BC - 3.2Mil BC. A primate skeleton, australopithecine, from the Sterkfontein cave near Johannesburg, South Africa, was estimated at this age. Pieces of the almost complete skeleton began emerging in 1994 and a skull was reported in 1998.
    (SFC, 12/10/98, p.A10)
3.6Mil BC - 3Mil BC    A composite skull of adult male, Australopithecus afarensis, was found in 1975 by M. Bush at Hadar, Ethiopia. In 1978-1979 Mary Leakey’s team excavated a 75-foot long trail of 47 footprints, found at Laetoli, Tanzania, most likely made by Australopithecus afarensis.
    (NG, Nov. 1985, p.568)(Hem., Dec. '95, p.24)(PacDisc, Spring ‘96, p.2)

3.58Mil BC    In 2010 fossil hunters reported the discovery in Ethiopia’s Afar Desert of bones from a male specimen of Australopithecus afarensis dating to this time. The 40% skeleton was estimated to have stood about 5-5½  feet tall.
    (SFC, 6/24/10, p.A4)

3.5Mil BC    Little Foot, the first set of bones complete enough to reconstruct the foot of an early bipedal, or two-legged human ancestors. Four foot bones were found in 1980 and re-analyzed in 1995 by Ronald J. Clarke and Philip Tobias of the Univ. of Witwatersrand. It suggests that the transition to human-type locomotion did not happen in one step, but in a series of changes.
    (SFC, 10/22/95, p.4-5)        
3.5Mil BC    It was reported in 2001 that a new flat-faced hominid skull found by Justus Erus of the Leakey group near Kenya’s Lake Turkana dated to about this time. Maeve Leakey named it Kenyanthropus platyops, "the flat-faced man of Kenya."
    (SFC, 3/22/01, p.A2)(AM, 7/01, p.24)
3.5Mil BC    A brief period of global warming took place about this time warming the Bering Strait and allowing hundreds of species of marine life to migrate from the Pacific through the ice-free Arctic to colonize the Atlantic.
    (SSFC, 8/10/08, p.A6)

 3.5Mil BC - 3Mil BC    A French team of paleontologists led by Michel Brunet on 1/23/95 discovered a lower jaw with 7 teeth and a separate canine of a hominid from this time period. The discovery was made in a dried lake bed of central Chad and named Australopithecus bahrelghazalia after the Arab name of a nearby river.
    (SFC, 5/23/96, p.A14)

3.4Mil BC    In California volcanic ash from about this time covered coastal redwood forests. In 1871 petrified redwood trees, dating to this time, were discovered in Calistoga, Ca.
    (KCSM TV, Calif. Gold, 10/10/11)
3.4Mil BC    The fossil of a pre-human footprint dating to this time was later found in Ethiopia and attributed by scientists in 2012 to a hominin line that never adapted to terrestrial mobility upright.
    (SFC, 3/29/12, p.A5)

3.32Mil BC    An alteration in the Earth's magnetic field occurred.
    (E&IH, 1973, p.94)

3.3Mil BC    A mile-wide asteroid hit the coast of what became Argentina. It may have abruptly cooled the climate and caused the deaths of 36 species of huge animals, that included giant armadillos and sloths.
    (SFC, 12/11/98, p.D11)
3.3Mil BC    In northeastern Ethiopia scientists in 2000 found a remarkably complete skeleton of a 3-year-old Australopithecus afarensis female dating to about this time. This is the same ape-man species as represented by "Lucy," found in 1974.
    (AP, 9/20/06)
3.3Mil BC    In 2015 scientists reported the discovery of stone tools in Kenya that dated back to about this time, pushing back the previous record by some 700,000 years. Makers of the tools were contemporary with a species called either Kenyanthropus platyops or Australopithecus platyops.
    (SFC, 5/21/15, p.A6)(Econ, 5/23/15, p.68)

3.2Mil BC    Donald C. Johanson found Lucy's 3.2 million-year-old bones in Ethiopia in 1974. Dr. Johanson and an international team at Hadar, Ethiopia, discovered a female skeleton in 3 million year old strata and named it Lucy. Subsequent finds there and at Laetoli, Tanzania, led to the naming of a new species: Australopithecus afarensis.
    (NG, Nov. 1985, p. 564)(SFC, 10/22/95, p.4-5)

3.06Mil BC    An alteration in the Earth's magnetic field occurred.
    (E&IH, 1973, p.94)
3Mil BC    The 2 American continents were joined by the rising of a land bridge in Central America. Giant South American sloths began migrating north and gomphotheres, elephants with great tusks built like shovels, migrated south. This era is covered in the 1997 book: "The Monkey’s Bridge: Mysteries of Evolution in Central America" by David Rains Wallace. This forced warm water north and cooling currents led to snow and glaciers and an Ice Age.
    (SFEC, 1/4/98, BR p.7)(SFEC, 9/19/99, Z1 p.3)
3Mil BC    The Petrified Forest, 6 miles west of downtown Calistoga dates to this time. A volcanic eruption felled redwood trees that turned to stone.
    (SFEC, 2/22/98, p.T1)
3Mil BC    A nearly complete male A. afarensis was found at Hadar, Ethiopia.
    (AM, 7/01, p.24)
3Mil BC    Volcanic rock was carved by nature into fairy chimneys around Cappadocia in present day Turkey.
    (Smith., 5/95, p.10)

3Mil BC - 2.5Mil BC    Australopithecus africanus was the name given to the skull of an adult male found by R. Broom and T.J. Robinson in 1947 at Sterkfontein, South Africa. It was named by Prof. Raymond Dart in 1924 after his analysis of the Taung child skull from a cave South Africa. Average age of sample teeth is 22 years at death, as analyzed by Alan Mann. In 2006 new analysis of the Taung skull suggested that the child was killed by a predatory bird.
    (NG, Nov. 1985, p.568, 578, 596)(AP, 1/12/06)
3Mil BC - 2.5Mil BC    Teeth of Australopithecus africanus analyzed from this period indicate consumption of large quantities of carbon 13 from either grasses and sedges of animals that ate such plants or both. This was a transition period of movement from trees and forests to more open land.
    (SFC, 1/15/99, p.A11)

3Mil BC - 2Mil BC    Research in 2007 on fossil teeth from this period suggested that Australopithecus africanus and Paranthropus robustus used plant roots  extensively in their diet.
    (SFC, 5/10/07, p.A17)

3Mil BC - 1Mil BC    So far there seems to have been four genera in the human family tree: Ardipithecus near the root; several species of Australopithecus that lived between 1 million and 3 million years ago; an offshoot of vegetarian hominid species in the genus Paranthropus that co-existed for a while with Australopithecus; and the Homo line that emerged about 2 million years ago. Paranthropus was characterized by brains not much bigger than modern chimpanzees, but huge jaws and teeth, that implied a diet of tough roots and nuts.
    (SFC, 10/22/95, p.4)(SFC, 1/23/97, p.A5)
3Mil BC - 1Mil BC    The Pistol Star, located between the Earth and center of the Milky Way, was first seen with infrared equipment in the early 1990s. It was measured to be 25,000 light-years away with a radius of 93-140 million miles. It was estimated to have formed 1-3 million years ago and shed much of its mass in violent eruptions estimated to have occurred about 6,000 years ago.
    (USAT, 10/8/97, p.3A)

3Mil BC    A fossil of a seabird, one of the Pelagornithids, from about this time was discovered in 2010 in Half Moon Bay, Ca. The gigantic, bony-toothed bird had an 18-foot wingspan.
    (SFC, 5/12/11, p.A1)
3Mil BC    A nearly complete male skull of A. afarensis was found in 1991 at Hadar, Ethiopia.

2.94Mil BC    An alteration in the Earth's magnetic field occurred.
    (E&IH, 1973, p.94)

2.90Mil BC    An alteration in the Earth's magnetic field occurred.
    (E&IH, 1973, p.94)

2.80Mil BC    An alteration in the Earth's magnetic field occurred.
    (E&IH, 1973, p.94)
2.8Mil  BC    A. afarensis seems to disappear from the fossil record.
    (NG, Nov. 1985, K.F. Weaver, p.595)
2.8Mil BC    Scientists in 2015 reported that a jawbone found in northeast Ethiopia dated to about this time making it the oldest to date for the Homo branch of humans.
    (SFC, 3/5/15, p.A2)
2.8Mil BC    Volcanic eruptions in the area of Flagstaff, Arizona, began building a 16,000-foot volcano. It later became known as the San Francisco Mountain and in 2006 stood at 12,643-feet.
    (SSFC, 7/23/06, p.G4)

2.8Mil BC - 2.5Mil BC South African scientists in 2015 said they've discovered a new member of the human family tree based on fossils found in 2013 in the Dinaledi Chamber of the Rising Star cave system near the town of Magaliesburg. Researchers named the creature Homo naledi (nah-LEH-dee) and estimated the species to be from about this period.
    (AP, 9/10/15)(Econ, 9/12/15, p.76)

2.7Mil BC    A major change in global climate occurred about this time that may have forced the hominid line to develop rapidly.
    (SFC, 11/19/96, p.A17)

2.6Mil BC - 2.52Mil BC    Stone flakes, flake fragments and cores of the Oldowan type from the Afar region of Ethiopia have been dated to this time. They were excavated between 1992-1994 along the Gona River.
    (AM, Mar/Apr 97 p.13)

2.58Mil        Quaternary Period: Quaternary is the current and most recent of the three periods of the Cenozoic Era in the geologic time scale of the International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS). It follows the Neogene Period and spans from 2.588 ~+mn~ 0.005 million years ago to the present. In 1759 Giovanni Arduino proposed that the geological strata of northern Italy could be divided into four successive formations or "orders" (Italian: quattro ordini). The term "quaternary" was introduced by Jules Desnoyers in 1829 for sediments of France's Seine Basin that seemed clearly to be younger than Tertiary Period rocks.

2.5Mil BC     The Paleolithic began with the first stone tools made by Homo habilis.
    (WH, 1994, p.19)
2.5Mil BC    Stone tools, choppers and flaked cores, were made near the Gona River in central Ethiopia. Research on the tools was published in 1997 by Sileshi Semaw and Jack Harris.
    (SFC, 1/23/97, p.A5)
2.5Mil BC    In 1999 scientists published the discovery of hominid fossil bones from the Awash River in Ethiopia. A team led by Berhani Asfaw and Tim D. White of UC Berkeley named the find Australopithecus garhi (southern ape-man surprise).
    (SFC, 4/23/99, p.A21)
2.5Mil BC    Climactic change causing a re-expansion of the Antarctic ice sheets. Africa experiences a drying up, a reduction of wooded areas and a return of widespread open grasslands. Elisabeth Vrba’s studies of the fossil record in South Africa show a peak in extinctions and new species. At this time the hominid lineage split, one branch leading to the robusts and the other to modern humans.
    (NG, Nov. 1985, K.F. Weaver, p.600)

2.5Mil BC - 2Mil BC    Homo habilis appeared in eastern Africa.
    (WH, 1994, p.19)

2.43Mil BC    An alteration in the Earth's magnetic field occurred.
    (E&IH, 1973, p.94)

c2.4Mil BC    The mutated myosin gene (MYH16), discovered in 2004, emerged about this time and launched a lineage of prehumans with smaller jaws and larger skulls.
    (SFC, 3/25/04, p.A2)

2.4Mil BC    Fossils suggest that the first members of the true human genus, species known as Homo rudolfensis and Homo habilis, emerged in East Africa about this time.
    (SFC, 1/23/97, p.A5)(AM, 7/01, p.24)

2.33Mil BC    Scientists identified a fossil jawbone as an early member of the genus Homo dated to this time along with some stone tools. The fossils were found at the Hadar site in northern Ethiopia’s Afar badlands in 1994 by local team members Ali Yesuf and Maumun Alahandu but only dated in 1996. Scientists say that there were 2-3 different species of Homo living at this time.
    (SFC, 11/19/96, p.A1,17)

2.13Mil BC    An alteration in the Earth's magnetic field occurred.
    (E&IH, 1973, p.94)

2.11Mil BC    An alteration in the Earth's magnetic field occurred.
    (E&IH, 1973, p.94)

2Mil BC    About this time California’s King’s Canyon was carved out by a slab of ice 2,000 feet thick.
    (SSFC, 7/24/05, p.F7)
2Mil BC    Homo habilis. Skull of adult male found by B. Ngeneo in 1972 at Koobi Fora, Kenya. His span overlaps with A. boisei and corresponds with the appearance of simple stone tools. Habilis gave rise to the larger brained Homo erectus.
    (NG, Nov. 1985, p. 571, 576)
2Mil BC     In 2007 researchers reported that the first skull of the earliest known ancestor of the giant panda has been discovered in China and estimated to be at least 2 million years old. The animal, formally known as Ailuropoda microta, or "pygmy giant panda," would have been about 3 feet long, compared to the modern giant panda, which averages in excess of five feet.
    (AP, 6/18/07)
2Mil BC    Mount Kenya, a volcano, was born.
    (NH, 6/96, p.26)
2Mil BC    Seals arrived at Russia's Lake Baikal from the Arctic Ocean about this time.
    (Econ., 11/21/20, p.75)

2Mil BC - 1.5Mil BC Australopithecus robustus. Skull of adult female found by Quarryman Fourie in 1950 at Swartkrans, South Africa. A survey of Robustus teeth by Alan Mann shows an average age at death of 17 years. A female Paranthropus robustus was found in 1994 Drimolen, South Africa.
    (NG, Nov. 1985, K.F. Weaver, p.570)(SFC, 4/27/00, p.A4)

2Mil BC - 1Mil BC    Camelids arrived in South America and diversified to the guanaco, alpaca and vicuna.
    (PacDis, Summer ’97, p.24)

2Mil BC - 50,000BC    In Australia a herbivorous diprotodon, the largest marsupial to ever roam the earth, lived about this time. A fossil of the car sized mega-wombat was unearthed in northern Australia in 2011.
    (AFP, 7/6/11)

1.98Mil BC    An alteration in the Earth's magnetic field occurred.
    (E&IH, 1973, p.94)

1.977Mil BC    In 2008 scientists in South Africa found 2 skeletons of a new hominid species dating back to about this time. In 2010 studies were published indicating that the adult female and juvenile male fossils, dubbed Australopithecus sediba, have shed light on a previously unknown stage in human evolution. In 2011 Lee Berger of the Univ. of Witwatersrand. Berger said the find represented the most plausible known ancestor of archaic and modern humans.
    (AFP, 4/8/10)(SFC, 4/9/10, p.A16)(SFC, 9/9/11, p.A21)

1.95Mil BC    An alteration in the Earth's magnetic field occurred.
    (E&IH, 1973, p.94)

1.95Mil BC-1.78Mil BC    Fossils of a partial skull and two jawbones found in South Africa’s Turkana Basin in 2007 dated to this period and indicated that at least 3 species of early humans co-existed.
    (SFC, 8/9/12, p.A3)

1.83Mil BC    In 2009 Malaysian archeologists reported that prehistoric stone axes found in Perak state in 2008 were the world's oldest dating to about this time. The result had a margin of error of 610,000 years.
    (AP, 1/30/09)

1.8Mil BC - 10,000BC        The Pleistocene (most-recent) Epoch.
    (ADH, GHMC,1979, p.24)
    The epoch is divided into Early (to 700,000), Middle (to 120,000) and Late geologic periods. The Lower Paleolithic extends (c250,000-100,000) through the early and middle Pleistocene. The Middle Paleolithic extends from ~100-35,000 yrs in the late Pleistocene. The Upper Paleolithic extends from ~35-10,000.
    (NG, Oct. 1988, p. 447)
    Terraces near Millerton: sand and gravel. Road cuts at Colma: old beach and sand dunes. Quarries at Irvington: sand and gravel. Volcanic rocks of Mt. Konocti at Clear Lake.
    (GH-ADH, p.24)
        The great coastal mountain ranges and the eastern California mountains were pushed up. The climax of the movements seem to have been reached in Pleistocene times and uplift is still going on.
    (DD-EVTT, p.291)
1.8Mil BC - 10,000BC    In the Philippines the Cagayan Valley archaeological site has revealed stone tools from the Pleistocene.
    (AM, Mar/Apr 97 p.F)

1.8Mil BC - 700,000BC    The Early Pleistocene.
    (NG, Oct. 1988, p. 447)

1.8Mil BC    The Olduvai subchron occurred and serves as a paleomagnetic marker.
    (PacDis., Spg. 96, p.47)
1.8Mil BC    Scientists dated early human remains in Java to this time. Sumatra, Java, Bali and Borneo were joined to each other and the Asian land mass during glacial periods of low sea level.
    (SFC, 12/13/96, p.A4)(AM, Mar/Apr 97 p.20)
1.8Mil BC    In 1936 scientists discovered the skull of a Homo erectus infant, the “Mojokerto child," on Java that dated to about this time. CT scans later revealed that the 12-month old infant’s brain was 72-84% the size of an adult Homo erectus
    (WSJ, 9/16/04, p.B7)
1.8Mil BC    Hominid fossils and crude stone tools of this time were found in the former Soviet republic of Georgia in 1991 beneath the ruins of a medieval castle at Dmanisi. The tools were similar to ones in China dating at 1.66 million. A 3rd smaller skull was found in 2002. All 3 were tentatively classified as Homo erectus. One skull of a man indicated that he had been almost toothless for at least 2 years before death. In 2013 a study of the findings was published in Science.
    (Arch, 9/02, p.10)(SFC, 5/12/00, p.A5)(SFC, 7/5/02, p.A5)(SFC, 4/7/05, p.A3)(SFC, 10/18/12, p.A4)

1.8Mil BC - 1.75Mil BC    Australopithecus boisei (first called Zinjanthropus boisei), robust form from East Africa. Skull of adult male found by M.D. Leakey in 1959 at Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania. He had a brain of 530 mm, the same as robustus, but so massive were his face and cheek teeth that he became know as Nutcracker man.
    (NG, Nov. 1985, p. 570, 575,599)
1.8Mil BC - 1.6Mil BC    New and more precise radio-potassium dates on the Indonesian sites gave dates earlier than 1.25 million [for Homo erectus]. [see 53,000-27,000]
    (PacDis., Spg. 96, p.46)
1.8Mil BC - 1.2Mil BC    The Ross Sea off Antarctica was 6-7 degrees warmer. This was determined from shellfish fossils and 15 previously unknown species of algae found under the seabed off Cape Roberts.
    (SFC, 1/31/98, p.A10)

1.8Mil BC    Fossils of the bipedal Paranthropus robustus from the Swartkrans cave of South Africa dated to about this time. The species went extinct about 1Mil BC. In 2006 new evidence suggested the species had a broader diet than was believed earlier.
    (SFC, 11/10/06, p.A4)
1.8Mil BC    In 2006 a Petroleos de Venezuela team looking for oil in Monagas state, found fossils of six scimitar cats, or Homotherium, along with those of panthers, wolves, camels, condors, ducks and horses, that dated to about this time.
    (AP, 8/12/08)

1.8Mil BC - 300k BC    The Irvingtonian period: In 2009 Southern California Edison, a utility company preparing to build a new substation in an arid canyon southeast of Los Angeles, stumbled on a trove of animal fossils dating back 1.4 million years. All the bones were dated to the Irvingtonian period, which spanned 1.8 million to 300,000 years ago. The bones found in Riverside County were dated by observing the layers of sediment they were found in and fall at about 1.4 million years ago.
    (AP, 9/21/10)
1.8Mil BC - 400k BC    A mammoth found in 2005 in Moorpark, southern California, dated to this period.
    (SFC, 4/8/05, p.A17)

1.79Mil BC    An alteration in the Earth's magnetic field occurred.
    (E&IH, 1973, p.94)

1.76Mil BC    US and French researchers in 2011 identified Acheulian stone tools dating to about this time near the shoreline of Kenya’s Lake Turkana.
    (SFC, 9/1/11, p.A6)

1.75Mil BC    Mary Leakey found a hominid fossil skull of about 1,750,00 years old at Koobi Fora, Kenya, in 1970. It was named Australopithecus boisei. [see 1.8 mil]
    (Enc. of Africa, 1976, p.164)(NH, 4/97, p.21)

1.7Mil BC - 100k BC    This is the approximate cultural period named Acheulean. Cultural period names are derived from sites in western Europe where Paleolithic remains: such as bones, tools, weapons, ornaments or cave art, were first identified. The Acheulean refers to the Lower Paleolithic Age lasting from the 2nd to the 3rd interglacial epoch and marked by the use of finely made bifacial tools with multiple cutting edges.
    (NG, Oct. 1988, p. 447)(WUD, 1994, p.11)

1.7Mil BC - 1.6Mil BC    Time of the "Oldowan Core," a chunk of quartzite which appears to owe its status as a hominid tool wholly to paleontologist Richard Leakey.
    (SFC, 6/18/96, p.B3)

1.66Mil BC    Stone tools of this age were later found in northern China in the Nihewan Basin west of Beijing.
    (Arch, 1/05, p.12)

1.64Mil BC    An alteration in the Earth's magnetic field occurred.
    (E&IH, 1973, p.94)

1.63Mil BC    An alteration in the Earth's magnetic field occurred.
    (E&IH, 1973, p.94)

1.61Mil BC    An alteration in the Earth's magnetic field occurred.
    (E&IH, 1973, p.94)

1.6Mil BC    Homo erectus found at Kenya’s Lake Turkana (Koobi Fora) was dated to this time by Dr. Francis Brown of the Univ. of Utah using chemical analysis of volcanic ash. Homo ergaster, the "Turkana boy" skull from Nariokotome, Kenya, was discovered in 1984. A team led by Richard Leakey unearthed hominid bones date to this time at Nariokotome in West Turkana, in northern Kenya. The skeleton of the 5-foot-3 Turkana Boy, who died at age 12, was preserved in marshland before its discovery.
    (NG, Nov. 1985, p.588)(NH, 4/97, p.71)(AP, 2/6/07)
1.6Mil BC    Homo erectus dates from at least this far back and had a brain capacity of some 1,000 ml, compared with our own 1,400. He was the first to control fire and to move out of Africa into Europe and Asia. A Palaeolithic technology called Acheulian was invented in Africa by Homo erectus about this time.
    (NG, Oct. 1988, p. 452)(Econ, 3/26/11, p.93)
1.6Mil BC    Josep Gibert, a Spanish fossil hunter, found a human skull fragment in southern Spain near Orce. It was dated by reference to paleomagnetic markers and confirming faunal evidence. The skull came from a site called Venta Micena and had associated stone tools of Oldowan type. Of the 15,000 bones found here, one of the most abundant is from Pachycrocuta brevirostris, an extinct giant hyena.
    (PacDis., Spg. 96, p.47)

1.6Mil BC - 1Mil BC Stone age Acheulian tools dating to this period were found in southern India at the Attirampakkam site in Tamil Nadu state during excavations from 1999-2002. The site was discovered by British geologist Robert Bruce Foote in 1863 and was sporadically investigated for over a century.
    (Econ, 3/26/11, p.93)(www.antiquity.ac.uk/projgall/pappu297/)

>1.5Mil BC    A hand ax from Olduvai is part of an art exhibit: Africa: The Art of a Continent, that is in London and will travel to the Guggenheim. The catalog describes it as "a first thing made by man."
    (WSJ, 11/16/95, p.A-18)

1.5Mil BC    Homo erectus. Skull of undetermined sex found by B. Ngeneo in 1975 at Koobi Fora, Kenya. First identified as Java man in 1893 and later as Peking man in the 1920s. Erectus fashioned more advanced tools and controlled fire.
    (NG, Nov. 1985, p. 571,576)
1.5Mil BC    The human brain began to expand as the skull gained a forehead and then ballooned out like a melon.
    (NH, 6/97, p.16)
1.5Mil BC    An archaeological site in 'Ubeidya, Israel, revealed fossilized bones of hippos, mammoths, giraffes, saber-toothed tigers, and warthogs dating to about this time The site also included a vertebra of our genus, Homo. In 2022 it was reported that the bone came from a child somewhere between 6 and 11 years old when they died.

1.44Mil BC    In 2007 Meave Leakey reported that a Homo habilis jaw from Kenya, found in 2000, dated to this time. It was the youngest ever found from a species that scientists originally figured died off somewhere between 1.7 and 2 million years ago. It enabled scientists to say that Homo erectus and Homo habilis lived at the same time.
    (AP, 8/8/07)

1.4Mil BC    Stone tools indicative of human activity have been found at Ubedeiya in Israel.
    (PacDis., Spg. 96, p.46)

1.4Mil BC - 600k BC    A human skull from this period found in Eritrea was the only one of this period from Africa and combined features of Homo erectus and Homo sapiens. Like sapiens the skull is widest at a higher point than the skulls of erectus.
    (SFC, 6/4/98, p.A2)

1.25Mil BC - 250k BC Over this period there were 13 major periods of eruption by volcanoes in the Grand Canyon with more than 150 lava flows into the canyon. These are described in the 1997 book "Late Cenozoic Lava Dams in the Western Grand Canyon," by W.K. Hamblin.
    (NH, 9/97, p.37,39)

1.2Mil BC    Homo erectus had already pioneered the global trek to Asia and Europe.
    (PacDis, Spg. 96, p.46)
1.2 Mil BC    In 2021 scientists said they have recovered the oldest DNA on record, extracting it from the molars of mammoths that roamed northeastern Siberia up to 1.2 million years ago.
    (Reuters, 2/17/21)
1.2Mil BC    In 2007 Spanish researchers said they had unearthed a human tooth more than one million years old, which they estimated to be the oldest human fossil remain ever discovered in western Europe.
    (AFP, 6/29/07)

1.1Mil BC    In 2008 scientists reported fossils, found in a cave in northern Spain, of Homo antecessor, that dated to before this time.
    (SFC, 3/27/08, p.A5)

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