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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  • 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 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Q: What was social structure like in the Indus Valley?

    A: Little is known in detail about the societal structure of the ancient Indus Valley inhabitants, because their writings have not been deciphered as of 2014. However, archaeologists have made many discoveries that suggest Indus society was highly egalitarian with a centralized government. Statues and art from that time suggest a high degree of equality with regional leaders forming a central authority.
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  • Q: What was the first civilization?

    A: The oldest evidence for a civilization, defined by urban development, social stratification, writing systems and agriculture, comes from the Mesopotamian region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers of the Middle East. The region held the city of Uruk, which was one of the earliest cities.
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  • Q: What was the government like during the Neolithic Revolution?

    A: Governments during the Neolithic Revolution were small and varied by region, and they were based around river systems and agriculture. Famous governments that started during the Neolithic Revolution include Egypt, Mesopotamia and those in the Indus River Valley.
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  • Q: What are some important facts of the New and Old Stone Ages?

    A: The Old Stone Age is also known as the Paleolithic Era and began at the dawn of human existence, about 2.5 million years ago, until 12,000 years ago. The New Stone Age is also called the Neolithic Era and lasted from about 10,000 B.C. until 3,000 B.C.
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  • Q: What caused the Paleozoic Era to end?

    A: The Paleozoic Era, which marked the appearance of almost all animal phyla within a few million years, was ended by a mass extinction. The mass extinction was the virtual opposite of what started the era, with over 90 percent of the world's life being wiped out. Recovery from this mass extinction took almost 30 million years.
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  • Q: What was the Permian Era environment like compared to the present environment?

    A: Occurring 299 to 251 million years ago, the Permian Era was a time of great change. The Earth was covered by massive areas of land and water. The landmass was punctuated by dry interior regions with great seasonal fluctuations. Glaciers receded as the interior regions became dryer.
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  • Q: What are the primary disadvantages of bipedalism?

    A: According to Tolweb.org, the primary disadvantages of bipedalism include slower speed and a strain placed on body parts that are not well designed for upright walking. When a mammal walks upright, the upper body puts a strain on the lower parts of the body. Bipedal mammals must also rest more often than animals which walk on four legs since they cannot rest one leg at a time.
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  • Q: What does an archaeologist study?

    A: An archaeologist studies the origin and development of humans in the ancient and recent past, generally through the study of material remains. Archaeologists also study the behavior of humans and their culture and language.
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