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The Missing Link  
A Brief History of Life
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Era Period Epoch Age Life Forms
Archeozoic Precambrian
Precambrian
  4,500-550 mya (millions of years ago) First single-celled organisms, simple plants, and invertebrate animals: algae, bacteria, jellyfish, flagellates, amoebas, worms, sponges
Paleozoic Cambrian
Cambrian
  550-505 mya First trilobites, forams, brachiopods, nautiloids, clams, snails, crustaceans, crinoids, gastropods, corals, protozoans
Ordovician
Ordovician
  505-438 mya First starfish, sea urchins, blastoids, eurypterids, bryozoa, scaphopods, jawless fish, echinoids
Silurian
Silurian
  438-408 mya First land plants, ferns, sharks, boney fish, scorpions
Devonian
Devonian
  408-360 mya First insects, tetrapods, ammonites, placoderms
Carboniferous
Carboniferous
Mississippian 360-325 mya First reptiles, spiders, amphibians
Pennsylvanian 325-286 mya First conifers, synapsids
Permian
Permian
  286-248 mya Heyday of synapsids, including pelycosaurs
Mesozoic Triassic
Triassic
  248-213 mya First turtles, cycads, lizards, dinosaurs, mammals
Jurassic
Jurassic
  213-145 mya First squids, frogs, birds, salamanders
Cretaceous
Cretaceous
  145-65 mya First flowering plants, snakes, modern fish, rise and fall of toothed birds, heyday of dinosaurs
Cenozoic Tertiary
Tertiary
Paleocene 65-55.5 mya Diversification of mammals
Eocene 55.5-33.7 mya First marine and large terrestrial animals, horses, whales, monkeys
Oligocene 33.7-23.8 mya First grasses, apes, anthropoids
Miocene 23.8-5.3 mya First hominids
Pliocene 5.3-1.8 mya First Australopithecines
Quaternary
Tertiary
Pleistocene 1.8 mya-8,000 ya Mammoths, mastodons, Neanderthals
Holocene 8,000 ya-present First modern human beings




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