Prehistory

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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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 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 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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  • 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 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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  • 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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  • 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 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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  • 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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  • Q: What Happened During the Paleozoic Era?

    A: The Paleozoic Era saw changes to Earth's landscapes, life forms and atmosphere over the course of several million years. On land, at sea, below the surface and in the skies, change occurred throughout the six distinct periods comprising the Paleozoic Era. The early Paleozoic periods introduced many plant species, while later periods brought invertebrates, dinosaurs and birds.
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  • Q: Who Disovered Density?

    A: Density was discovered by a Greek mathematician named Archimedes. He was born in the city of Syracuse, which was the heart of art, commerce and science, and his father, Phidias, was a mathematician and an astronomer. Archimedes traveled to Egypt to study in Alexandria, which had a great reputation of scholarship and learning, and he later returned to Syracuse to focus on his ideas.
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  • Q: What Are Some Facts Relating to the Stone Age?

    A: The period of time commonly referred to as the Stone Age, or more specifically the "Old" or "Early" Stone Age, began with the first emergence of human beings and ended about 12,000 years ago. The descriptive term "Stone Age" is derived from the fact that the early humans living during this time first began to use tools made from stone to help them meet their basic needs of food, clothing and shelter. One of the methods used to produce their stone tools was a process called "flaking" that involved using one stone to strike another to produce sharp edges.
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  • Q: What Are Most Periods of the Paleozoic Era Named After?

    A: The periods of the Paleozoic Era were named for the locations, mostly in Great Britain, where rocks associated with them were found, according to the University of Oklahoma. The Cambrian Period, for example, is derived from the ancient Latin name for Wales, which has extensive Cambrian deposits.
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  • Q: What Did Neanderthals Eat?

    A: The diet of Neanderthals consisted primarily of meat, based on several pieces of evidence. There is some evidence, however, that shows Neanderthals may also have consumed plant-based food as well.
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  • Q: What Is the Hominid Called "Lucy"?

    A: Lucy is the name bestowed upon an early hominid fossil by anthropologist Donald Johanson when he and his student, Tom Gray, discovered it in 1974. The discovery has been crucially important to understanding human evolution as the fossil's age is estimated at around 3.2 million years.
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  • How Long Did Dinosaurs Live?

    Q: How Long Did Dinosaurs Live?

    A: It is almost impossible to tell exactly how long dinosaurs lived, but educated guesses can be made by studying the lifespans of their descendants. This group includes modern alligators, tortoises, fish and birds. Scientists are studying the rings of dinosaur bones much like trees are studied for their rings.
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