Solomon's Geological Time Chart


Onnia sp. Ordovician, Morocco
Solomon Collection






zoic EON
(544 mya to present)

Evolutionary Milestones

Cenozoic or Tertiary Era
(65 mya to today)

Quaternary (5 mya to today) 5my

Holocene (11,000 years to today) Modern humans alter the planet
Pleistocene (1.8 mya to 11,000 yrs) Neanderthals appears and disappear; Homo erectus and Homo sapiens appear 1.8my
Pliocene (5 to 1.8 mya) Ape-like ancestors of modern humans (Hominids), the australopithecines 3.2my
Tertiary (65 to 5 mya) 60my Miocene (23 to 5 mya) Grazing horses, antelopes appear 18my
Oligocene (38 to 23 mya)

Radiation of modern animals 15my

Eocene (54 to 37 mya) 17my

First grasses appear, a resource for herbovores; trees thrive. Some modern mammals appear: advanced primates; camels, cats, dogs, horses & rodents.
belemnites extinct

Paleocene (65 to 54 mya) 11my Flowering plants begin radiation extending through the Eocene. Small mammals
Mesozoic Era
(245 to 65 mya)

Cretaceous (146 to 65 mya) 81my





Major extinction includes dinosaurs and ammonites (K-T), marine reptiles
Appearances include: flowering plants (angiosperms); lizards; placental animals (early mammals); snakes; social insects; marsupial and primitive placental animals. Modern insects

Jurassic (208 to 146 mya) 62my Spirifers extinct , Appearances include: birds; crabs; frogs and salamanders
Dinosaurs radiate to dominate the land

Triassic (245 to 208 mya) 37my

225 mya dinosaurs & mammals appear

Major extinction event:- conodonts disappear, ammonoids, reptiles and amphibians decimated. Appearances include: dinosaurs; crocodiles; marine reptiles; turtles and mammals


Paleozoic Era
(544 to 245 mya)

Permian (286 to 245 mya) 41my

Major extinction of invertebrates (P-T). Trilobites , Eurypterids, Blastoids, hyolithids fade away forever. All but articulate crinoids disappear
Seed plants producing large trees

(360 to 286 mya) 74my
Pennsylvanian (325 to 286mya)

Conifers, belemnites & many winged insects appear. Graptolites vanish

Mississippian (360 to 325mya) Reptiles most plants, myriapods appear. Trilobites become scarce

Devonian (410 to 360 mya) 50my

360 mya tetrapods appear

Mass extinction (F-F), tentaculids, homolozoa, cystoids extinct. Appearances include: insects (hexapods); sharks; amphibians (tetrapods 320 mya), ammonites, placoderms, lung fishes and earliest seed plants

Silurian (440 to 410 mya) 30my
first land animals and plants

Arachnids, Tentaculids, Blastoids, Jawed fish, cartilaginous fish, and vascular plants appear.

Ordovician (500 to 440 mya) 60my

land colonies of algae & inescts

Mass extinction; echinoids, eurypterids, asterozoa, scaphopods, cystoids, bryozoans appear. Trilobites begin to specialize.

Cambrian (544 to 500 mya) 44my

535 mya Cambrian "explosion" ;
oldest plants

Tommotian (530 to 527 mya) Appearance of hard parts - fossils become common. Appearances include: vertebrates; jawless fish; small shelly animals, graptolites, conodonts, edrioasteroids, trilobites radiate repeatedly and reach their peak diversity. First major radiation of animals


Precambrian Time
(4,500 to 544 mya)

Proterozoic Era
(2500 to 544 mya) 1956my
Vendian (650 to 544 mya) or Ediacaran 106my
Macroscopic fossils of soft-bodied organisms. Clorophyta & Chromophyta algae, annelids, scyphozoa, protista, oldest metazoans - Ediacaran Fauna.
No Epochs

Extinction at end of Vendian

Neoproterozoic (900 to 544 mya) 356my- Late. 575 mya oldest animals: sponges, jellies, sea pens, corals, Vendian fauna (above)

Macroscopic fossils of soft-bodied organisms. Stromatolite diminishes

Mesoproterozoic (1600 to 900 mya) 700my- Middle fungi appear, Sexual reproduction appears (about 1 billion years ago )
Earliest Eukaryotic cells appear (1.6 bya) aerobic metabolism.


Paleoproterozoic (2500 to 1600 mya) 900my- Peak of stromatolite with cyanobacteria oxygenating the atmosphere; Red beds & much free oxygen
1.8 bya oldest multi-celled fossils


Archaean (3800 to 2500 mya) 1300my
simple cell forms
and stromatolites

Oldest sedimentary rocks (3.8 bya)
Trace amounts of oxygen in atmosphere: 3.3 bya
first Banded Iron Formations (BIFs) - 3.6 bya
2.6 bya bacteria on land
3.5 bya oldest fossils (cyanobacteria), Barberton (S Africa) & Pilbara (Australia)
3.8 bya oldest chemical evidence of life

Photosynthesis. First life appears - Heterotrophic, anerobic, prokaryotic, Asexual reproduction, oldest fossils - Apex Chert of Australia (3.55 BYA) -

(4500 to 3800 mya) 700my
Earth's environment extremely hostile to life as we know it