By Michael Anderson
It can be tough to think that the Earth, with the entire complexity and biodiversity we become aware of at the present time, originated in a cloud of gasoline and mud. but a lot of the plant and animal existence that turns out so universal now developed quite lately at the timeline of Earths lengthy heritage. The Earths extraordinary origins are chronicled during this insightful quantity, which additionally examines the prehistoric organismsfrom micro organism to dinosaursthat populated the planet lengthy prior to people arrived.
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Additional resources for Investigating the History of Earth (Introduction to Earth Science)
For perspective, Earth is now considerably warmer than it has been for most of the last 100,000 years but still significantly cooler than the average of the last 250 million years. Animals and Plants Early in the Cenozoic, mammals and birds quickly filled many ecological niches previously occupied by dinosaurs and other reptiles.
South America— once part of Gondwana—made contact with North America for the first time since Pangea broke apart, just in the last few million years. 62 Cenozoic Era The Himalaya Mountains were created when plate tectonics thrust India into Asia. Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images Climate Changes The climate started out very warm, with global temperatures peaking at an average of about 77 to 86 °F (25 to 30 °C), compared to the present 59 °F (15 °C). At that time, tropical conditions extended at least 45 degrees from the Equator, and even the Arctic Ocean may have had temperatures as high as 68 °F 63 Investigating the History of Earth (20 °C).
333983 41 Investigating the History of Earth their maximum size. If the height, length, and width of an insect are all doubled, it will have eight times the volume and mass and will need eight times the energy. However, it will have only four times the surface area through which to absorb oxygen. Such an underpowered insect might not be able to function or even survive. With twice as much oxygen in the air, though, it would have enough energy after all. Perhaps because of this, certain huge insects, such as dragonflies with wingspans of up to 30 inches (76 centimeters), were able to thrive.