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The Burgess Shale and its Place in Geological Time

February 6, 2019

 

 

If you have difficulty conceiving of a million years, much less more than four billion, try imagining over 4.5 billion years of geologic time compressed into one year. Each day would represent a little more than 12 million years and the following significant days would occur:

 

Formation of planet Earth: January 1

 

Meteor bombardment ends: February 17

 

 Simple cellular life appears: March 20

 

Atmospheric oxygen becomes abundant: July 22

 

Burgess Shale fauna appears: November 20

 

First land plants: November 28

 

Permian extinction: December 13

 

Dinosaurs present: December 21-27

 

End-Cretaceous extinction: December 27

 

Pleistocene glaciations begin: December 31, 8:45 pm

 

Ancestral Humans: December 31, 9:07 pm

 

Homo sapiens: December 31, 11:45 pm

 

 

 

Revised for web format from “A Geoscience Guide to the Burgess Shale” by Murray Coppold and Wayne Powell, © The Burgess Shale Geoscience Foundation. To purchase this book, please go to: the Yoho National Park Visitors Centre, Alpine Book Peddlers, Amazon.ca, or Amazon.com.

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