Timeline of evolution  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

This timeline of the evolution of life outlines the major events in the development of life on the planet Earth (See Organism). For a thorough explanatory context, see the history of Earth, and geologic time scale. The dates given in this article are estimates based on scientific evidence.

In biology, evolution is the process by which populations of organisms acquire and pass on novel traits from generation to generation. Its occurrence over large stretches of time explains the origin of new species and ultimately the vast diversity of the biological world. Contemporary species are related to each other through common descent, products of evolution and speciation over billions of years.

Basic timeline

The basic timeline is a 4.5 billion year old Earth, with (very approximate) dates:

  • 300 million years of reptiles,
  • 200 million years of mammals,
  • 150 million years of birds,
  • 130 million years of flowers,
  • 65 million years since the non-avian dinosaurs died out,
  • 2.5 million years since the appearance of the genus Homo,
  • 200,000 years since humans started looking like they do today,
  • 25,000 years since Neanderthals died out.


See also

Further reading





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Timeline of evolution" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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