Learn about prehistoric creatures and more in easy-to-understand ways!


Imagine if you could go back in time and see the history of earth. With a good book, that is possible! So sit back and relax as you rewind time all the way to the beginning of Earth…..

Welcome To The Precambrian! 4,600-541 Million years ago

Oh, hello there! Welcome to the beginning of Earth! Very early in this planet’s history, asteroids exploded against our earth in a geological time period called the Hadean Eon. Later, during the Archean Eon, landmasses started to develop, and ice from comets melted to create rain, which cooled down the large lava seas. Finally, a supercontinent named Rodinia, which comes from the Russian word for “motherland”, formed during the Proterozoic Eon. A tad later, signs of LIFE appeared on our Earth. Some of the first animals were the sea-faring Cyanobacteria (SYE-an-oh-bac-TEER-ee-uh) and Dickinsonia. Soon after you have drifted through time watching all of this happen, you start to feel drowsy. Your eyes close, and soon you are asleep.

Welcome to the Paleozoic Era! 541-251 Million years ago

Your eyes open up as you float through the air. Around you, animals are evolving and some are even venturing out from the oceans. And then, the Cambrian Explosion happens. Over millions of years, creatures started to become more complex. Underwater, animals were evolving too! For example, the Haikouichthys (HIY-koo-ICK-thiss), around 1 inch long, was one of the first creatures to have a skull! But, perhaps the most successful early life form was the trilobite. It was actually able to see, meaning it could hunt its prey, like plankton. There were more than 20,000 species of trilobites that we know of! Some species could actually ball themselves up like an armadillo when they sensed danger, and 3 states picked them as their state fossil: Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Wisconsin. There were other animals too, like Orthoceras, a squid-like animal; the air breathing Pneumodesmus Newmani (NEW-moh-DEZZ-muss NEW-man-ee); Tiktaalik, which looked like a crocodile or a fish; and tons of insects like Meganeura! The time before dinosaurs appeared was called the Permian Period. During this period, mammal-like reptiles called Synapsids (for example, the fanned Dimetrodon) ruled the Earth as the pre-dinosaur dinosaurs. In addition, during this time the supercontinent Pangaea formed. A lot of marine life also evolved, like Megalograptus, looking like a marine scorpion; Akmonistion, one of the first sharks; Anomalocaris (a-NOM-uh-lo-CAR-iss), meaning abnormal shrimp; Hallucigenia (HULL-oo-see-JEEN-ee-uh) up to 1 inch long, it had a ring of teeth in its mouth and its stomach; and my personal favorite, Tullimonstrum (TALL-ih-MON-strum), reaching up to 3 inches long! Finally, the Permian Extinction happens. It is the worst mass extinction in the history of the planet known to humans, with almost no animals surviving. It is the only extinction event known to affect insects too. At the sight of this horror, a tear wells up in your eye. Then you drift back to sleep.

 Welcome to the Mesozoic Era! 251-66 Million years ago

As you open your eyes, you notice an insect hovering in front of you. “Well hello there,” it says. As it flies away, you start to follow it. The Mesozoic is probably the most famous era ever! It includes the Triassic, Jurassic, and finally the Cretaceous. Wait. What is a dinosaur? Well, . There were two large dinosaur groups called Saurischians and Ornithischians. Ornithischians, meaning Bird-hipped dinosaurs, had bones called the pubis and ischium pointing back and down. With Saurischians, lizard-hipped dinosaurs, the pubis was down and forward and the ischium was backward. I can explain dinosaurs all day, but the article must go on. The Triassic Period did not have the most popular dinosaurs, and after it, there was another extinction. In the Jurassic, a lot more famous dinosaurs appeared.There were a lot of sauropods in the Jurassic like Shunosaurus, Apatosaurus, the Diplodocus, and other types of dinosaurs like the Archaeopteryx (AR-kee-OP-trix). As you may know, Dilophosaurus and Tyrannosaurus became famous from the movie Jurassic Park, but they were very different from how the movie portrayed them. The Dilophosaurus was surprisingly huge, and it did not have a neck fan. Then came the Cretaceous period, bringing dinosaurs like the Ankylosaurus, T-Rex, Velociraptor, Protoceratops, Parasaurolophus, Corythosaurus, and a favorite of mine, the Nothronychus. After the Cretaceous, there was ANOTHER mass extinction. Scientists do not know the cause of this one, just that it wiped out nearly all dinosaurs. But maybe a family of Scansoriopteryx (SCANS-or-ee-OP-trix) escaped underground and are living in our sewers…. At the thought of this you laugh yourself to sleep again. Some students (in a form) said that the Pterodactyl was their favorite dinosaur. Not only is it not a dinosaur (dinosaurs did not fly, only glide), but it is not a real thing at all! It’s a common mistake of the words pterosaur or Pterodactylus. Most people said they loved the Tyrannosaurus, which is a commonly stereotyped dinosaur. It was actually a scavenger, not a hunter, and it (may have) honked like a goose! In other forms, students said their favorite prehistoric animals were Smilodon (Saber-toothed tiger) and Titanoboa.

Welcome to the Cenozoic Era! 66 Million years ago-Today

After the extinction of the Cretaceous, the Cenozoic started. Cenozoic is not my field of knowledge, so you may have to consult someone else for it, but it is basically what we are still in today! The Spanish Inquisition and the Empire of Rome were both in the Cenozoic!


After you drift through the rest of the Cenozoic period, you finally reach home to the good ol’ 21st century. After learning all that has ever happened, with strange creatures and more, you begin to wonder what has happened beyond our knowledge. Soon, you fall asleep smiling.


Works Cited:

Lessem, D. (2017) Ultimate Dino-Pedia 2nd Edition National Geographic Partners, LLC 

Lowery, M. (2019) Everything Awesome about Dinosaurs and other Prehistoric Beasts! Scholastic Inc.