The Cretaceous is a geologic period and system that spans 79 million years from the end of the Jurassic Period 145 million years ago to the beginning of the Paleogene Period 66 Mya. It is the last period of the Mesozoic Era, the Cretaceous Period is usually abbreviated K, for its German translation Kreide. The Cretaceous was a period with a warm climate, resulting in high eustatic sea levels that created numerous shallow inland seas. These oceans and seas were populated with now-extinct marine reptiles and rudists, during this time, new groups of mammals and birds, as well as flowering plants, appeared. The Cretaceous ended with a mass extinction, the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event, in which many groups, including non-avian dinosaurs, pterosaurs. The end of the Cretaceous is defined by the abrupt Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary, the name Cretaceous was derived from Latin creta, meaning chalk. The Cretaceous is divided into Early and Late Cretaceous epochs, or Lower and Upper Cretaceous series, in older literature the Cretaceous is sometimes divided into three series, Neocomian and Senonian.
A subdivision in eleven stages, all originating from European stratigraphy, is now used worldwide, in many parts of the world, alternative local subdivisions are still in use. As with other geologic periods, the rock beds of the Cretaceous are well identified. No great extinction or burst of diversity separates the Cretaceous from the Jurassic and this layer has been dated at 66.043 Ma. A140 Ma age for the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary instead of the usually accepted 145 Ma was proposed in 2014 based on a study of Vaca Muerta Formation in Neuquén Basin. Víctor Ramos, one of the authors of the study proposing the 140 Ma boundary age sees the study as a first step toward formally changing the age in the International Union of Geological Sciences, due to the high sea level there was extensive space for such sedimentation. Because of the young age and great thickness of the system. Chalk is a type characteristic for the Cretaceous. It consists of coccoliths, microscopically small calcite skeletons of coccolithophores, the group is found in England, northern France, the low countries, northern Germany, Denmark and in the subsurface of the southern part of the North Sea.
Chalk is not easily consolidated and the Chalk Group still consists of sediments in many places. The group has other limestones and arenites, among the fossils it contains are sea urchins, belemnites and sea reptiles such as Mosasaurus. In southern Europe, the Cretaceous is usually a marine system consisting of competent limestone beds or incompetent marls
The Jurassic is a geologic period and system that spans 56.3 million years from the end of the Triassic Period 201.3 million years ago to the beginning of the Cretaceous Period 145 Mya. The Jurassic constitutes the middle period of the Mesozoic Era, known as the Age of Reptiles, the start of the period is marked by the major Triassic–Jurassic extinction event. The Jurassic is named after the Jura Mountains within the European Alps, by the beginning of the Jurassic, the supercontinent Pangaea had begun rifting into two landmasses, Laurasia to the north and Gondwana to the south. This created more coastlines and shifted the continental climate from dry to humid, on land, the fauna transitioned from the Triassic fauna, dominated by both dinosauromorph and crocodylomorph archosaurs, to one dominated by dinosaurs alone. The first birds appeared during the Jurassic, having evolved from a branch of theropod dinosaurs, other major events include the appearance of the earliest lizards, and the evolution of therian mammals, including primitive placentals.
Crocodilians made the transition from a terrestrial to a mode of life. The oceans were inhabited by marine reptiles such as ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs, the chronostratigraphic term Jurassic is directly linked to the Jura Mountains. The name Jura is derived from the Celtic root jor, which was Latinised into juria, the Jurassic period is divided into the Early Jurassic and Late Jurassic epochs. The Jurassic System, in stratigraphy, is divided into the Lower Jurassic, the separation of the term Jurassic into three sections goes back to Leopold von Buch. The Jurassic North Atlantic Ocean was relatively narrow, while the South Atlantic did not open until the following Cretaceous period, the Tethys Sea closed, and the Neotethys basin appeared. Climates were warm, with no evidence of glaciation, as in the Triassic, there was apparently no land over either pole, and no extensive ice caps existed. In contrast, the North American Jurassic record is the poorest of the Mesozoic, the Jurassic was a time of calcite sea geochemistry in which low-magnesium calcite was the primary inorganic marine precipitate of calcium carbonate.
Carbonate hardgrounds were thus very common, along with calcitic ooids, calcitic cements, the first of several massive batholiths were emplaced in the northern American cordillera beginning in the mid-Jurassic, marking the Nevadan orogeny. Important Jurassic exposures are found in Russia, South America, Australasia. As the Jurassic proceeded and more groups of dinosaurs like sauropods and ornithopods proliferated in Africa. Middle Jurassic strata are well represented nor well studied in Africa. Late Jurassic strata are poorly represented apart from the spectacular Tendaguru fauna in Tanzania, the Late Jurassic life of Tendaguru is very similar to that found in western North Americas Morrison Formation. During the Jurassic period, the primary living in the sea were fish
The Silurian is a geologic period and system spanning 24.6 million years from the end of the Ordovician Period, at 443.8 million years ago, to the beginning of the Devonian Period,419.2 Mya. As with other periods, the rock beds that define the periods start and end are well identified. The base of the Silurian is set at a major Ordovician-Silurian extinction event when 60% of marine species were wiped out, a significant evolutionary milestone during the Silurian was the diversification of jawed and bony fish. However, terrestrial life would not greatly diversify and affect the landscape until the Devonian, the Silurian system was first identified by British geologist Sir Roderick Impey Murchison, who was examining fossil-bearing sedimentary rock strata in south Wales in the early 1830s. He named the sequences for a Celtic tribe of Wales, the Silures, inspired by his friend Adam Sedgwick and this naming does not indicate any correlation between the occurrence of the Silurian rocks and the land inhabited by the Silures.
As it was first identified, the Silurian series when traced farther afield quickly came to overlap Sedgwicks Cambrian sequence, charles Lapworth resolved the conflict by defining a new Ordovician system including the contested beds. An early alternative name for the Silurian was Gotlandian after the strata of the Baltic island of Gotland, the French geologist Joachim Barrande, building on Murchisons work, used the term Silurian in a more comprehensive sense than was justified by subsequent knowledge. He divided the Silurian rocks of Bohemia into eight stages and his interpretation was questioned in 1854 by Edward Forbes, and the stages of Barrande, F, G and H, have since been shown to be Devonian. Despite these modifications in the groupings of the strata, it is recognized that Barrande established Bohemia as a classic ground for the study of the earliest fossils. The epoch is named for the town of Llandovery in Carmarthenshire, the Wenlock, which lasted from 433.4 ±1.5 to 427.4 ±2.8 mya, is subdivided into the Sheinwoodian and Homerian ages.
It is named after Wenlock Edge in Shropshire, during the Wenlock, the oldest known tracheophytes of the genus Cooksonia, appear. The first terrestrial animals appear in the Wenlock, represented by air-breathing millipedes from Scotland. The Ludlow, lasting from 427.4 ±1.5 to 423 ±2.8 mya, comprises the Gorstian stage, lasting until 425.6 million years ago, and it is named for the town of Ludlow in Shropshire, England. The Pridoli, lasting from 423 ±1.5 to 419.2 ±2.8 mya, is the final and it is named after one locality at the Homolka a Přídolí nature reserve near the Prague suburb Slivenec in the Czech Republic. Přídolí is the old name of a field area. The high sea levels of the Silurian and the flat land resulted in a number of island chains. The southern continents remained united during this period, the melting of icecaps and glaciers contributed to a rise in sea level, recognizable from the fact that Silurian sediments overlie eroded Ordovician sediments, forming an unconformity. The continents of Avalonia and Laurentia drifted together near the equator and this event is the Caledonian orogeny, a spate of mountain building that stretched from New York State through conjoined Europe and Greenland to Norway
Animals are multicellular, eukaryotic organisms of the kingdom Animalia. The animal kingdom emerged as a clade within Apoikozoa as the group to the choanoflagellates. Animals are motile, meaning they can move spontaneously and independently at some point in their lives and their body plan eventually becomes fixed as they develop, although some undergo a process of metamorphosis in their lives. All animals are heterotrophs, they must ingest other organisms or their products for sustenance, most known animal phyla appeared in the fossil record as marine species during the Cambrian explosion, about 542 million years ago. Animals can be divided broadly into vertebrates and invertebrates, vertebrates have a backbone or spine, and amount to less than five percent of all described animal species. They include fish, reptiles and mammals, the remaining animals are the invertebrates, which lack a backbone. These include molluscs, annelids, flatworms, ctenophores, the study of animals is called zoology.
The word animal comes from the Latin animalis, meaning having breath, the biological definition of the word refers to all members of the kingdom Animalia, encompassing creatures as diverse as sponges, jellyfish and humans. Aristotle divided the world between animals and plants, and this was followed by Carl Linnaeus, in the first hierarchical classification. In Linnaeuss original scheme, the animals were one of three kingdoms, divided into the classes of Vermes, Pisces, Amphibia and Mammalia. Since the last four have all been subsumed into a single phylum, in 1874, Ernst Haeckel divided the animal kingdom into two subkingdoms and Protozoa. The protozoa were moved to the kingdom Protista, leaving only the metazoa, thus Metazoa is now considered a synonym of Animalia. Animals have several characteristics that set apart from other living things. Animals are eukaryotic and multicellular, which separates them from bacteria and they are heterotrophic, generally digesting food in an internal chamber, which separates them from plants and algae.
They are distinguished from plants and fungi by lacking cell walls. All animals are motile, if only at life stages. In most animals, embryos pass through a stage, which is a characteristic exclusive to animals. With a few exceptions, most notably the sponges and Placozoa and these include muscles, which are able to contract and control locomotion, and nerve tissues, which send and process signals
The Ordovician is a geologic period and system, the second of six periods of the Paleozoic Era. The Ordovician spans 41.2 million years from the end of the Cambrian Period 485.4 million years ago to the start of the Silurian Period 443.8 Mya. Lapworth recognized that the fauna in the disputed strata were different from those of either the Cambrian or the Silurian periods. It received international sanction in 1960, when it was adopted as a period of the Paleozoic Era by the International Geological Congress. Life continued to flourish during the Ordovician as it did in the earlier Cambrian period, namely molluscs and arthropods, dominated the oceans. The Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event considerably increased the diversity of life, the worlds first true vertebrates, continued to evolve, and those with jaws may have first appeared late in the period. Life had yet to diversify on land, about 100 times as many meteorites struck the Earth during the Ordovician compared with today. The Ordovician Period began with a major extinction called the Cambrian–Ordovician extinction event and it lasted for about 42 million years and ended with the Ordovician–Silurian extinction event, about 443.8 Mya which wiped out 60% of marine genera.
The dates given are recent radiometric dates and vary slightly from those found in other sources and this second period of the Paleozoic era created abundant fossils that became major petroleum and gas reservoirs. The boundary chosen for the beginning of both the Ordovician Period and the Tremadocian stage is highly significant and it correlates well with the occurrence of widespread graptolite and trilobite species. The base of the Tremadocian allows scientists to relate these species not only to each other and this makes it easier to place many more species in time relative to the beginning of the Ordovician Period. A number of terms have been used to subdivide the Ordovician Period. In 2008, the ICS erected an international system of subdivisions. There exist Baltoscandic, Siberian, North American, the Ordovician Period in Britain was traditionally broken into Early and Late epochs. The corresponding rocks of the Ordovician System are referred to as coming from the Lower, the Floian corresponds to the lower Arenig, the Arenig continues until the early Darriwilian, subsuming the Dapingian.
The Llanvirn occupies the rest of the Darriwilian, and terminates with it at the base of the Late Ordovician. The Sandbian represents the first half of the Caradoc, the Caradoc ends in the mid-Katian, during the Ordovician, the southern continents were collected into Gondwana. Gondwana started the period in equatorial latitudes and, as the period progressed, drifted toward the South Pole, the small continent Avalonia separated from Gondwana and began to move north towards Baltica and Laurentia, opening the Rheic Ocean between Gondwana and Avalonia
Nuussuaq Peninsula is a large peninsula in western Greenland. The waters around the peninsula are that of Baffin Bay, to the south and southwest the peninsula is bounded by Disko Bay, an inlet of Baffin Bay. It is separated from Qeqertarsuaq Island by Sullorsuaq Strait which connects Disko Bay with Baffin Bay, to the northeast, it is bounded by the Uummannaq Fjord system. The peninsula is mountainous, with the highest summit reaching 2,144 m, the two arms are dissected by a deep Kuussuaq Valley, partially filled in the center with Sarqap Tassersuaq, a glacial, emerald lake. The worlds largest fossil mollusk, Inoceramus steenstrup, was found in 1952 in Qilakitsoq Valley on the Nuussuaq peninsula, the peninsula is administered as part of the Qaasuitsup municipality. Volcanic development in the Nuussuaq Basin, West Greenland
James Sowerby was an English naturalist and illustrator. Contributions to published works, such as A Specimen of the Botany of New Holland or English Botany, include his detailed, the use of vivid colour and accessible texts were intended to reach a widening audience in works of natural history. James Sowerby was born in Lambeth, his parents were named John, having decided to become a painter of flowers his first venture was with William Curtis, whose Flora Londinensis he illustrated. Sowerby studied art at the Royal Academy and took an apprenticeship with Richard Wright and he married Anne Brettingham De Carle and they were to have three sons, James De Carle Sowerby, George Brettingham Sowerby I and Charles Edward Sowerby, the Sowerby family of naturalists. His sons and theirs were to contribute and continue the enormous volumes he was to begin and he came to the notice of William Curtis, who was undertaking a new type of publication. Early volumes of the first British botany journal, The Botanical Magazine, an enormous number of plants were to receive their formal publication, but the authority for these came from the unattributed text written by James Edward Smith.
Sowerby intended to reach an audience whose curosity for gardening and the world could be piqued by publishing the attractive. The appealing hand coloured engravings became highly valued by researchers into the new fields of science, the finished worked contains 650 colored plates distributed over 7 volumes. He developed a theory of colour and published two landmark illustrated works on mineralogy, the British Mineralogy and as a supplement to it the Exotic Mineralogy, Sowerby retained the specimens used in the expansive volumes he helped to produce. Many notable geologists, and other scientists of the day were to lend or donate specimens to his collection, all the natural production of Great Britain become the foundation of a museum. A much sought exhibit, one that was frequently chipped for samples, was the Yorkshire meteorite, this was sighted and collected in 1795, some of the works begun by the paterfamilias of the Sowerbys was to be completed only by the generations that followed. His illustrations and publishing concerns embraced many of the emergent fields of science, besides the renowned botanical works, Sowerby produced extensive volumes on mycology, mineralogy and a seminal work on his colour system.
He wrote an instruction called A botanical drawing-book, or an introduction to drawing flowers according to nature. Florists luxurians or the florists delight, Sibthrops Flora Graeca,10 vols, Sowerby supplied plates for Curtiss Flora Londinensis. This work was issued in 36 volumes with 2,592 hand-colored plates of British plants and he published Exotic Botany in 1804. Smiths comprehensive work did not include Kingdom Fungi, Sowerby set out to supplement English Botany with his own text, Coloured figures of English fungi or mushrooms,4 vols. both appeared between 1789 and 1791. Sowerbys own hand coloured engravings, based upon original sketches and specimens brought to England, were descriptive and striking in depiction. Mineral Conchology of Great Britain Digital version British Mineralogy, Or Coloured figures intended to elucidate the mineralogy of Great Britain was published as parts between 1802 and 1817
Gault is a rock formation of stiff blue clay deposited in a calm, fairly deep-water marine environment during the Lower Cretaceous Period. It is to be found beneath the scarp of the Berkshire Downs, in the Vale of White Horse, in Oxfordshire, the clay has been used in several locations for making bricks, notably near Dunton Green and Wye in Kent. Gault often contains numerous phosphatic nodules, some thought to be coprolites, crystals of the mineral selenite are fairly common in places, as are nodules of pyrite. Gault yields abundant marine fossils, including ammonites, bivalves, solitary corals, fish remains, scattered crinoid remains, occasional fragments of fossil wood may be found. The Gault Formation consists of gault and underlies the Upper Greensand Formation, the Gault Formation represents a marine transgression following erosion of the Lower Greensand. It is subdivided into two sections, the Upper Gault and the Lower Gault, the Upper Gault onlaps onto the Lower Gault. The Gault Formation thins across the London Platform and terminates against the Red Chalk just to the south of The Wash, Gault exposure at Copt Point, which is the type locality for the formation, is 40 m in thickness.
Fossils of the Gault Clay Folkestone fossils and geology by Discovering Fossils
The Neogene is a geologic period and system that spans 20.45 million years from the end of the Paleogene Period 23.03 million years ago to the beginning of the present Quaternary Period 2.58 Mya. The Neogene is sub-divided into two epochs, the earlier Miocene and the Pliocene, some geologists assert that the Neogene cannot be clearly delineated from the modern geological period, the Quaternary. During this period and birds continued to evolve into modern forms. Early hominids, the ancestors of humans, appeared in Africa near the end of the period, some continental movement took place, the most significant event being the connection of North and South America at the Isthmus of Panama, late in the Pliocene. This cut off the ocean currents from the Pacific to the Atlantic ocean. The global climate cooled considerably over the course of the Neogene, the terms Neogene System and upper Tertiary System describe the rocks deposited during the Neogene Period. The continents in the Neogene were very close to their current positions, the Isthmus of Panama formed, connecting North and South America.
The Indian subcontinent continued to collide with Asia, forming the Himalayas, sea levels fell, creating land bridges between Africa and Eurasia and between Eurasia and North America. The global climate became seasonal and continued an overall drying and cooling trend which began at the start of the Paleogene. The ice caps on both poles began to grow and thicken, and by the end of the period the first of a series of glaciations of the current Ice Age began and continental flora and fauna have a modern appearance. The reptile group Choristodera became extinct in the part of the period. Mammals and birds continued to be the dominant terrestrial vertebrates, the first hominids, the ancestors of humans, appeared in Africa and spread into Eurasia. In response to the cooler, seasonal climate, tropical plant species gave way to deciduous ones, grasses therefore greatly diversified, and herbivorous mammals evolved alongside it, creating the many grazing animals of today such as horses and bison. The Neogene traditionally ended at the end of the Pliocene Epoch, just before the definition of the beginning of the Quaternary Period.
However, there was a movement amongst geologists to include ongoing geological time in the Neogene, by dividing the Cenozoic Era into three periods instead of seven epochs, the periods are more closely comparable to the duration of periods in the Mesozoic and Paleozoic eras. The International Commission on Stratigraphy once proposed that the Quaternary be considered a sub-era of the Neogene, with a date of 2.58 Ma. In the 2004 proposal of the ICS, the Neogene would have consisted of the Miocene and Pliocene epochs, thus the Neogene Period ends bounding the succeeding Quaternary Period at 2.58 Mya. Digital Atlas of Neogene Life for the Southeastern United States — by San Jose State University via Web Archive
In biology and ecology, extinction is the end of an organism or of a group of organisms, normally a species. The moment of extinction is considered to be the death of the last individual of the species, although the capacity to breed. Because a species range may be very large, determining this moment is difficult. This difficulty leads to such as Lazarus taxa, where a species presumed extinct abruptly reappears after a period of apparent absence. More than 99 percent of all species, amounting to five billion species. Estimates on the number of Earths current species range from 10 million to 14 million, of which about 1.2 million have been documented and over 86 percent have not yet been described. More recently, in May 2016, scientists reported that 1 trillion species are estimated to be on Earth currently with only one-thousandth of one percent described, the relationship between animals and their ecological niches has been firmly established. Mass extinctions are relatively rare events, isolated extinctions are quite common, only recently have extinctions been recorded and scientists have become alarmed at the current high rate of extinctions.
Most species that become extinct are never scientifically documented, some scientists estimate that up to half of presently existing plant and animal species may become extinct by 2100. A dagger symbol next to a name is often used to indicate its extinction. A species is extinct when the last existing member dies, Extinction therefore becomes a certainty when there are no surviving individuals that can reproduce and create a new generation. Pinpointing the extinction of a species requires a definition of that species. If it is to be declared extinct, the species in question must be distinguishable from any ancestor or daughter species. Extinction of a plays a key role in the punctuated equilibrium hypothesis of Stephen Jay Gould. In ecology, extinction is often used informally to refer to local extinction, in which a species ceases to exist in the area of study. This phenomenon is known as extirpation. Local extinctions may be followed by a replacement of the species taken from other locations, species which are not extinct are termed extant.
Those that are extant but threatened by extinction are referred to as threatened or endangered species, currently an important aspect of extinction is human attempts to preserve critically endangered species
The Permian is a geologic period and system which spans 46.7 million years from the end of the Carboniferous Period 298.9 million years ago, to the beginning of the Triassic Period 252.2 Mya. It is the last period of the Paleozoic Era, the following Triassic Period belongs to the Mesozoic Era, the concept of the Permian was introduced in 1841 by geologist Sir Roderick Murchison, who named it after the city of Perm. The Permian witnessed the diversification of the early amniotes into the groups of the mammals, lepidosaurs. The world at the time was dominated by two known as Pangaea and Siberia, surrounded by a global ocean called Panthalassa. The Carboniferous rainforest collapse left behind vast regions of desert within the continental interior, who could better cope with these drier conditions, rose to dominance in place of their amphibian ancestors. The Permian ended with the Permian–Triassic extinction event, the largest mass extinction in Earths history, in which nearly 90% of marine species and it would take well into the Triassic for life to recover from this catastrophe.
Recovery from the Permian-Triassic extinction event was protracted, on land, the term Permian was introduced into geology in 1841 by Sir R. I. Murchison, president of the Geological Society of London, who identified typical strata in extensive Russian explorations undertaken with Edouard de Verneuil, the region now lies in the Perm Krai of Russia. This could have in part caused the extinctions of marine species at the end of the period by severely reducing shallow coastal areas preferred by many marine organisms. During the Permian, all the Earths major landmasses were collected into a supercontinent known as Pangaea. The Cimmeria continent rifted away from Gondwana and drifted north to Laurasia, a new ocean was growing on its southern end, the Tethys Ocean, an ocean that would dominate much of the Mesozoic Era. Large continental landmass interiors experience climates with extreme variations of heat and cold, deserts seem to have been widespread on Pangaea. Such dry conditions favored gymnosperms, plants with seeds enclosed in a cover, over plants such as ferns that disperse spores in a wetter environment.
The first modern trees appeared in the Permian, the climate in the Permian was quite varied. At the start of the Permian, the Earth was still in an Ice Age, glaciers receded around the mid-Permian period as the climate gradually warmed, drying the continents interiors. In the late Permian period, the drying continued although the temperature cycled between warm and cool cycles, Permian marine deposits are rich in fossil mollusks and brachiopods. By the close of the Permian, trilobites and a host of other groups became extinct. Terrestrial life in the Permian included diverse plants, arthropods, the period saw a massive desert covering the interior of Pangaea