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Prehistoria (635)

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! EN_90263752_0001 SCI
PHOTO: EAST NEWS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY Ichthyosaurs leaping in the air. Artwork of Ichthyosaurus marine reptiles jumping from the sea. Ichthyosaurs were a type of marine reptile. Like dolphins, they had streamlined bodies, long snouts, powerful tails and large eyes. Ichthyosaurs emerged 240 million years ago in the Triassic era, and became extinct around 90 million years ago.
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! EN_90265648_0001 SCI
PHOTO: EAST NEWS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY Late Devonian landscape. Artwork of wetland plants, and fumaroles during the Late Devonian Period (385 to 360 million years ago). The plants shown here include club mosses such as Aglaophyton. Bacterial mats (orange) surround the hot pools. A large millipede is at lower right.
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! EN_90268292_0001 SCI
PHOTO: EAST NEWS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY Mesozoic reptiles. Artwork of some of the dinosuars and flying and marine reptiles that inhabited the Earth during the Mesozoic Era (251 to 65 million years ago). Not all of the animals shown here lived at the same time, as the Mesozoic Era covered nearly 200 million years of evolution. In the air are pterosaurs (lower left and upper right). In the sea are ichthyosaurs (lower left). On the land are dinosaurs such as a duck-billed dinosaur (lower right), Stegosaurus and Triceratops (upper centre) and sauropod dinosaurs (upper left). Prehistoric plants are also seen.
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! EN_90274021_0001 SCI
PHOTO: EAST NEWS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY Prehistoric club moss. Artwork of a club moss called Aglaophyton (left), bacterial mats (orange, lower right), and a fumarole (upper right). This scene is set during the Lower Devonian period (416 to 400 million years ago).
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! EN_90274030_0001 SCI
PHOTO: EAST NEWS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY Prehistoric invertebrates. Artwork of Trigonotarbida arachnids crawling among wetland plants during the Devonian Period (416-360 million years ago). Trigonotarbids are an extinct order of spider-like animals. This scene is based on fossils found preserved in the Rhynie Chert area in Scotland. Fossils of these animals and plants were created when geysers (seen in the background) engulfed the area with mineralised water, preserving delicate details of their anatomy.
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! EN_90256634_0001 SCI
PHOTO: EAST NEWS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY Elephant evolution, artwork. These three species form the main line of the elephant evolutionary tree. The ancestor species is Palaeomastodon (top), which evolved in the Eocene (55 to 38 million years ago). This species then eveloved into Gomphotherium (centre) in the Oligocene (38 to 24 million years ago), and then Primelaphus (bottom) in the Miocene (24 to 5 million years ago). Primelaphus is the ancestor of the two modern-day elephant species: Elephas (the Asian elephant) and Loxodonta (the African elephant).
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! EN_90256634_0002 SCI
PHOTO: EAST NEWS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY Elephant evolution, artwork. These three species from the elephant evolutionary tree went extinct in the Pleistocene (2 million years ago to 10,000 years ago). Mammuthus (top, the mammoth) evolved in the Pliocene (5 to 2 million years ago). Mammut (centre, the mastodon) and Stegodon (bottom) both evolved in the Oligocene (38 to 24 million years ago).
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! EN_90256634_0003 SCI
PHOTO: EAST NEWS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY Elephant evolution, artwork. The two modern-day elephant species are Loxodonta (top, the African elephant) and Elephas (centre, the Asian elephant). At bottom is Anancus, a species that is not an ancestor of modern-day elephants, but is part of the elephant evolutionary tree. Anancus evolved in the Miocene (24 to 5 million years ago) and became extinct in the Pliocene (5 to 2 million years ago).
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! EN_90256634_0004 SCI
PHOTO: EAST NEWS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY Elephant evolution, artwork. These four species are all part of the elephant evolutionary tree. They are: the Columbian mammoth (top, Mammuthus columbi), Deinotherium (centre), Platybelodon (lower left) and Moeritherium (lower right). Fossils of the Columbian mammoth date to the Late Pleistocene, and it went extinct around 10,000 years ago. Deinotherium appeared in the Middle Miocene (around 14 million years ago) and continued until the Early Pleistocene (around 2 million years ago). Moeritherium existed during the Eocene (55 to 38 million years ago) and Platybelodon existed during the Miocene (24 to 5 million years ago).
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! EN_90256635_0001 SCI
PHOTO: EAST NEWS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY Elephant evolution, diagram. Nine species are named over six geologic time periods from 55 million years ago to the present. The ancestor species is Palaeomastodon (far left, in the Eocene), which evolves into Gomphotherium (in the Oligocene) and then Primelaphus (in the Miocene). This main line leads to Elephas (the Asian elephant) and Loxodonta (the African elephant) in the present (far right). Mammut (the mastodon) and Stegodon evolve in the Oligocene, becoming extinct in the Pleistocene (lower right). Anancus evolves in the Miocene, becoming extinct in the Pliocene (upper right). Mammuthus (the mammoth) evolves in the Pliocene and becomes extinct in the Pleistocene (upper right).
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! EN_90256635_0002 SCI
PHOTO: EAST NEWS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY Elephant evolution, diagram. Nine species are named over six geologic time periods from 55 million years ago to the present. The ancestor species is Palaeomastodon (far left, in the Eocene), which evolves into Gomphotherium (in the Oligocene) and then Primelaphus (in the Miocene). This main line leads to Elephas (the Asian elephant) and Loxodonta (the African elephant) in the present (far right). Mammut (the mastodon) and Stegodon evolve in the Oligocene, becoming extinct in the Pleistocene (lower right). Anancus evolves in the Miocene, becoming extinct in the Pliocene (upper right). Mammuthus (the mammoth) evolves in the Pliocene and becomes extinct in the Pleistocene (upper right).
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! EN_90256635_0003 SCI
PHOTO: EAST NEWS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY Elephant evolution, diagram. Nine species are shown over six geologic time periods from 55 million years ago to the present. The ancestor species is Palaeomastodon (far left, in the Eocene), which evolves into Gomphotherium (in the Oligocene) and then Primelaphus (in the Miocene). This main line leads to Elephas (the Asian elephant) and Loxodonta (the African elephant) in the present (far right). Mammut (the mastodon) and Stegodon evolve in the Oligocene, becoming extinct in the Pleistocene (lower right). Anancus evolves in the Miocene, becoming extinct in the Pliocene (upper right). Mammuthus (the mammoth) evolves in the Pliocene and becomes extinct in the Pleistocene (upper right).
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! EN_90256638_0001 SCI
PHOTO: EAST NEWS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY Elephant tusk evolution, artwork. These three species from the elephant evolutionary tree are: Moeritherium (top), Gomphotherium (centre) and Mammuthus (the mammoth, bottom). The artworks show the skulls, and how the tusks evolved from the incisors (front teeth). Moeritherium existed during the Eocene (55 to 38 million years ago) and had elongated incisors. Gomphotherium existed in the Oligocene (38 to 24 million years ago) and had both upper and lower tusks. The mammoths existed in the Pliocene and Pleistocene (5 million to 10,000 years ago) and only had upper tusks.
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! EN_90256638_0002 SCI
PHOTO: EAST NEWS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY Elephant tusk evolution, artwork. These three species from the elephant evolutionary tree are: Moeritherium (top), Gomphotherium (centre) and Mammuthus (the mammoth, bottom). The artworks show the skulls, and how the tusks evolved from the incisors (front teeth). Moeritherium existed during the Eocene (55 to 38 million years ago) and had elongated incisors. Gomphotherium existed in the Oligocene (38 to 24 million years ago) and had both upper and lower tusks. The mammoths existed in the Pliocene and Pleistocene (5 million to 10,000 years ago) and only had upper tusks.
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! EN_90273128_0001 SCI
PHOTO: EAST NEWS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY Plant evolution, diagram. Thirteen major groupings of plants are shown over four geologic time periods from 542 million years ago to 65 million years ago. There are four independent groupings: the club mosses, the horsetails and the ferns (all three at left), and the ginkgoes (far right). At centre are the cycads, seed ferns and cycadeoids, which are related. The seed ferns led to the evolution of flowering plants (top) which now dominate plant life on Earth. At right are the primitive conifers, which led to the evolution of the pines, redwoods and cypresses, the Auraucaria, and the podocarps.
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! EN_90273128_0002 SCI
PHOTO: EAST NEWS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY Plant evolution, diagram. Thirteen major groupings of plants are shown over four geologic time periods from 542 million years ago to 65 million years ago. There are four independent groupings: the club mosses, the horsetails and the ferns (all three at left), and the ginkgoes (far right). At centre are the cycads, seed ferns and cycadeoids, which are related. The seed ferns led to the evolution of flowering plants (top) which now dominate plant life on Earth. At right are the primitive conifers, which led to the evolution of the pines, redwoods and cypresses, the Auraucaria, and the podocarps.
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! EN_90273128_0003 SCI
PHOTO: EAST NEWS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY Plant evolution, diagram. Thirteen major groupings of plants are shown over four geologic time periods from 542 million years ago to 65 million years ago. There are four independent groupings: the club mosses, the horsetails and the ferns (all three at top), and the ginkgoes (bottom). At centre are the cycads, seed ferns and cycadeoids, which are related. The seed ferns led to the evolution of flowering plants (right) which now dominate plant life on Earth. At lower centre are the primitive conifers, which led to the evolution of the pines, redwoods and cypresses, the Auraucaria, and the podocarps.
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! EN_90273128_0004 SCI
PHOTO: EAST NEWS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY Plant evolution, diagram. Thirteen major groupings of plants are shown over four geologic time periods from 542 million years ago to 65 million years ago. There are four independent groupings: the club mosses, the horsetails and the ferns (all three at top), and the ginkgoes (bottom). At centre are the cycads, seed ferns and cycadeoids, which are related. The seed ferns led to the evolution of flowering plants (right) which now dominate plant life on Earth. At lower centre are the primitive conifers, which led to the evolution of the pines, redwoods and cypresses, the Auraucaria, and the podocarps.
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! EN_90257438_0001 SCI
PHOTO: EAST NEWS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY Extinction of the dinosaurs. Artwork of a large asteroid impacting the Earth's atmosphere at a speed of several kilometres per second. The asteroid is some ten kilometres across. An event like this is thought to have caused the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. The asteroid hit the ocean, sending tsunamis (massive waves) around the globe, destroying coastal areas. Water vapour thrown into the atmosphere lowered global temperatures. Plant and then animal life began to die off. The dinosaurs never recovered, and mammals rose to become the dominant form of life.
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! EN_90257438_0002 SCI
PHOTO: EAST NEWS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY Extinction of the dinosaurs. Artwork of flying reptiles near the point of impact of a large asteroid. This asteroid is impacting the Earth's atmosphere at a speed of several kilometres per second. It is is some ten kilometres across. An event like this is thought to have caused the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. The asteroid hit the ocean, sending tsunamis (massive waves) around the globe, destroying coastal areas. Water vapour thrown into the atmosphere lowered global temperatures. Plant and then animal life began to die off. The dinosaurs never recovered, and mammals rose to become the dominant form of life.
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