Prehistory

A:

The era occurring before the current geologic era was the Mesozoic, which began roughly 245 million years ago and ended about 64 million years ago. The Mesozoic era consisted of three periods; from oldest to more recent, they are the Triassic, the Jurassic and the Cretaceous periods.

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  • Where did the barbarians come from?

    Q: Where did the barbarians come from?

    A: Barbarians were people who came from anywhere outside of Greece and later Rome. The term is often used to refer to the Germanic and Slavic tribes that attacked Rome during its decline.
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  • What major events happened during the Jurassic period?

    Q: What major events happened during the Jurassic period?

    A: Major events during the Jurassic included the further breakup of the supercontinent Pangaea, the development of subtropical conditions and larger dinosaurs. The earliest bird also took flight during the late Jurassic, and early mammals emerged that would later dominate the Earth.
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  • What are some Stone Age inventions?

    Q: What are some Stone Age inventions?

    A: Some of the earliest inventions of the Stone Age were simple hammerstones that showed evidence of battering, and stone cores, used for a variety of purposes, such as chopping. These stone cores could also produce sharp stone flakes when struck; the stone flakes were in turn used for cutting.
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  • How did cavemen communicate?

    Q: How did cavemen communicate?

    A: According to archaeologists, Neanderthal people, known colloquially as cavemen, lived in groups with simple social structures, had their own languages and communicated by speaking. Some scientists conclude that analysis of Neanderthal DNA confirms that they possessed the same gene humans have that is associated with the capability for language and speech.
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  • Which era occurred just before the current era?

    Q: Which era occurred just before the current era?

    A: The era occurring before the current geologic era was the Mesozoic, which began roughly 245 million years ago and ended about 64 million years ago. The Mesozoic era consisted of three periods; from oldest to more recent, they are the Triassic, the Jurassic and the Cretaceous periods.
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  • When did the Triassic period begin and end?

    Q: When did the Triassic period begin and end?

    A: The Triassic period began approximately 248 million years ago and ended 206 million years ago; although, some sources date it to be between 251 and 199 million years ago. It was followed by the Jurassic period; it was the first period of the Mesozoic era.
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  • Which species do humans belong to?

    Q: Which species do humans belong to?

    A: Humans belong to the species Homo sapiens. Earlier humans had a heavier bone structure and a smaller brain capacity. Modern humans are lighter in build and have high foreheads with a large brain capacity.
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  • When did the first animals appear on Earth?

    Q: When did the first animals appear on Earth?

    A: The first occurrence of simple animals was approximately 600 million years ago. These were characterized as multi-cellular organisms with basic structures, but no true tissues. An example would be a jellyfish or marine sponge.
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  • When was the Stone Age?

    Q: When was the Stone Age?

    A: The term Stone Age refers to the prehistoric period before the advent of metal-working, when most tools were fashioned from rocks and stones. According to the Oxford Dictionary, the Stone Age lasted about 2.5 million years.
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  • Where did Australopithecus live?

    Q: Where did Australopithecus live?

    A: Australopithecus lived between 2.95 and 3.85 million years ago in East Africa, approximately where Tanzania, Kenya and Ethiopia exist today. It is believed that Australopithecus survived as a species for approximately 900,000 years before giving way to new hominids.
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  • When did cavemen exist?

    Q: When did cavemen exist?

    A: What are commonly called cavemen were the early European populations of the Pleistocene. Their remains were first discovered in 1868 inside a cave at a site in France, called Cro-Magnon, that was dated to approximately 30,000 years ago.
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  • What did homo erectus wear as clothes?

    Q: What did homo erectus wear as clothes?

    A: Homo erectus, meaning upright man, is thought to have worn animal hides and furs taken from animals it hunted for meat. However, no fossilized remains have survived to fully support this theory.
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  • When did the Cenozoic Era begin?

    Q: When did the Cenozoic Era begin?

    A: The Cenozoic Era began about 65 million years ago and continues today. It is the third documented era in the history of the Earth. It is marked by the proliferation of mammals, birds, grasses and flowering plants.
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  • When did dinosaurs roam the earth?

    Q: When did dinosaurs roam the earth?

    A: Dinosaurs first walked the earth 230 million years ago and dominated the land for 160 million years. They became extinct 65 million years ago during the Cretaceous period.
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  • Q: When was fire invented?

    A: Historians believe fire first appeared in the world approximately 1 million years ago when inhabitants of Africa created fires for cooking food. The use of fires remained within the confines of Africa's borders for approximately 40,000 years after initial use. Humans built early fires outdoors, usually in large pits, from wood, which proved readily available, easy to transport and quick to ignite.
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  • Q: What did Cro-Magnons wear?

    A: Cro-Magnons likely wore woven cloth made from fibers extracted from nettle plants 27,000 years ago, as well as hides and fur. Many goddess figurines discovered from that time period are depicted wearing cloth. Few concrete facts are known about Cro-Magnon clothing, as it is still an emerging field of study.
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  • Q: What was Cro-Magnon man?

    A: Cro-Magnon Man, or Cro-Magnon One, was one of the first adult Cro-Magnon fossils from 30,000 years ago, which was found in 1868. Three other Cro-Magnon adults and one child were among the fossils found in a French cave during road construction.
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  • Q: What happened during the Cambrian explosion?

    A: The Cambrian explosion saw the rapid evolution and emergence of various life forms. However, geologists claim that organisms belonging to some major phyla already diversified prior to the Cambrian period, with further evidence suggesting that the evolutionary process at that time was gradual, rather than explosive.
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  • Q: When was the last update on the Jarkov mammoth?

    A: The Jarkov mammoth, frozen solid in Siberian permafrost, was found in 1997 and removed to an ice cave for thawing and study. Scientists hoped the specimen would yield living cells for cloning experiments. As of Aug. 2014, cells and DNA recovered from the specimen have not proven suitable for cloning.
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  • Q: How did communication begin?

    A: Prior to the period known as recorded history and before the development of an organized and shared language, interactions between humans were accomplished through a display of emotions, simple counting systems and visual artistic representations, such as cave wall or rock paintings. The roots of what developed into modern communication can be traced back to the Ancient Greeks. Although their civilization contained few individuals who could read and write, the Ancient Greeks raised oral communication to the level of a studied and practiced discipline known as rhetoric, a term first coined by Aristotle.
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  • Q: What were some hallmarks of the Neolithic Revolution?

    A: The Neolithic Revolution is characterized by the domestication of plants and animals. The necessity of tending to flocks and crops first led to humans settling in one place and creating villages, which in turn led to the necessity for some sort of government.
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