4. An ancient Egyptian historian who
counted the durations of all
dynasties of pharaohs and gods
that reigned down to his time
(3rd century B.C.). This allowed him to
conclude that the earth is about
38,000 years old (from our time).
8. An English geologist who in 1867
estimated the age of life on Earth
to be about 240 million
years based on his assumption of
the amount of time for the
successive changes in animal
species found as fossils in
sedimentary rock layers.
9. An English canal and mine engineer
who in 1799 expanded on James
Hutton’s idea of geologic time by
dividing sedimentary rock layers
into 6 main divisions based, in
part, on the fossil evidence of
life that they contained. These
main divisions, or eras, that he
proposed became the basic
framework for the geologic time
scale of the earth that we still
11. The general term for a seasonally
dry tropical or subtropical grassy
plains with scattered trees. These
environments are usually the
habitat of large herbivores and
12. The geologic epoch that occurred
about 55.8-33.9 million years ago.
It was during this epoch that
early forms of most of the
placental mammal orders that are
present today first appeared.
Among them were primate species
that somewhat resemble modern
prosimians such as lemurs,
lorises, and possibly tarsiers.
This was the epoch of maximum
prosimian adaptive radiation.
13. An early 17th century Archbishop
of Armagh, Ireland who accepted
the Judeo-Christian Old Testament
as being literally true and
subsequently determined the age of
the Earth by counting biblical
generations. With this method, he
calculated that the Earth began in
4004 B.C. on October 23 (about
6,000 years ago).
14. A British astronomer and
mathematician who proposed in 1691
that if the original oceans were
fresh water, one could calculate
the minimum age of the earth by
dividing the total amount of salt
now present in the oceans by the
amount added each year from the
world's rivers and streams.
16. The geologic era during which
mammals first appeared and large
reptiles dominated the planet.
This was the age of dinosaurs. It
occurred about 251-65.5 million
18. Latin term used to refer to the
animals in an environment. A
comparable term for plants is
19. The general term for the first
primate-like mammals that were
evolving by the beginning of the
Cenozoic Era. They were roughly
similar to squirrels and tree
shrews in size and appearance. The
existing, very fragmentary fossil
evidence suggests that they were
adapted to an arboreal way of life
in warm, moist climates.
20. The term for the hole at the base
of a skull through which the
spinal cord passes. It literally
means a "large hole or
opening" in Latin.
21. The geological epoch that occurred
about 23-5.3 million years ago. It
was during this epoch that apes
evolved from monkeys. Fossil
monkeys and prosimians are
comparatively rare from most this
epoch, but apes are common. By 14
million years ago, the group of
apes that included the ancestors
of humans were apparently in the
process of adapting to life on the
edges of the expanding savannas in
1. The 1200 mile long depression or
valley system running northeast to
southwest in East Africa. This
valley system with lakes and
grasslands developed in a
volcanically active fault zone at
the juncture of two large tectonic
2. An American chemist who in 1907
estimated the age of the earth to
be at least 2 billion years based
on the decay of uranium-238 to
lead-206 in rocks.
3. The Earth's outer rock shell consisting of about a dozen enormous rigid tectonic plates and many smaller ones that are more or less constantly moving relative to each other at a rate of a few centimeters a year.
5. The geological epoch that occurred
about 33.9-23 million years ago.
It was in this epoch that the
first monkeys evolved from
prosimians. By the beginning of
this epoch, North America and
Europe drifted apart and became
distinct continents. The Great
Rift Valley system of East Africa
also was formed. The Himalayan
chain of mountains and the Tibetan
Plateau beyond rose high as the
Indian tectonic plate continued to
crash into Asia. This epoch
follows the Eocene Epoch.
6. The relatively rapid expansion and
diversification of an evolving
group of organisms as they adapt
to new ecological niches. This is
the process by which one species
evolves into two or more species.
This occurs as a result of
different populations becoming
reproductively isolated from each
other, usually by adapting to
7. The term for a four-footed form of
locomotion. This is characteristic
of most mammals. Humans are
exceptions, being bipeds.
9. The number of known major global
extinction events that have
occurred on earth. (Don't count the one that may be occurring now.)
10. The biological order of mammals
that was named for their
adaptation to eating insects. They
were among the earliest of the
placental mammals to evolve. They
first appeared before the end of
the Mesozoic Era.
15. The super-continent that was
created when all of the continents
came together and fused early in
the time of the dinosaurs. It
began forming about 285 million
years ago. It was complete by
about 210 million years ago and
began drifting apart again 10
million years later. The name of
this super-continent literally
means "all of the Earth"
17. The geologic era following the
extinction of the last dinosaurs.
During this era, more advanced
mammals (placental mammals)
rapidly evolved and became the
dominant large animals. It was
only in this last geologic era
that primates evolved.