Life Time Line
Students complete a time line showing the appearance and extinction of major types of fauna. Students also make forecasts into the future using time lines (see The People's Time Line in the History section).
- Students will be able to visualize the times of important evolutionary events in relation to geological and cultural history.
- Students will be able to name some of the animals that became extinct at Craters of the Moon.
- Students will use their imaginations to forecast future events and designate them on a time line.
The Earth is currently undergoing one of its most accelerated periods of extinction. Unlike all other known extinction phases, a single species, humans, is responsible. Species which are not able to adapt to human-caused changes are becoming extinct daily.
Perhaps if we become more knowledgeable about our evolutionary history, our concern for the species with which we share the Earth will grow.
- Adding machine tape (3 or 4 inches wide by about 100 feet).
- Pencils, pens, crayons.
- String or yarn.
- Use of a large indoor wall while your class is studying about Craters of the Moon.
- Several picture books on prehistoric life.
Part I - Life Time Line
- Choose several students to make a time line about 15 feet long.
- Label the right side "present" and the left side "500,000,000 years ago." Divide the time line into five 100,000,000 year increments. Divide each of these into ten 10,000,000 year increments.
- Label it "Life Time Line" and affix it to the wall above the Earth's Time Line and below the Craters of the Moon Time Line.
- Teams of students (2-3 each) should make the following labels on separate small pieces of paper and tape them at the appropriate place to the Life Time Line. The students should label the range of time indicated on the Life Time Line.
- Teams should illustrate their geologic period with representative life forms by looking at various picture books on dinosaurs and prehistoric life.
|Quaternary||Present to 3 million years ago.||Humans evolve.|
|Tertiary||3 million to 63 million years ago.||Mammals are abundant and diverse and are the dominant animal life form.|
|Cretaceous||63 million to 135 million years ago.||Extinction of dinosaurs and ammonites (flat spiral shellfish) at end of Cretaceous. First flowering plants evolve.|
|Jurassic||135 million to 180 million years ago.||First birds and mammals evolve. Age of dinosaurs and ammonites.|
|Triassic||189 million to 230 million years ago.||First dinosaurs. Abundant conifers (pine-like trees). Abundant cycads (like giant ferns).|
|Permian||230 million to 280 million years ago.||Extinction of many marine animals, including trilobites.|
|Carboniferous||280 million to 345 million years ago.||First reptiles. Sharks and amphibians abundant. Large primitive trees and ferns.|
|Devonian||345 million to 405 million years ago.||First amphibians. Fishes abundant.|
|Silurian||405 million to 425 million years ago.||First land plants. First land animals.|
|Ordovician||425 million to 500 million years ago.||First fishes. Many invertebrates.|