More than 500 million years ago, the Phanerozoic Era began. This era is divided into three major time-spans described below. But first, some translations:
- ‘-zoic’ come from the root “zoo” which means animal
- “paleo” means ancient
- “meso” means middle
- “cen” means recent
- Paleozoic is described as the Age of Fishes.
- Mesozoic is described as the Age of Dinosaurs.
- Cenozoic is described as the Age of Mammals.
This is a very simplistic way of describing the earth’s past which is useful for people like me who are simply curious and fascinated by the whole thing. What it tells us is that animal life – in one form or another – has been around for over 500 million years! First came the fishes, then the dinosaurs, and then them mammals which is us, among others.
For scientists and researchers, however, the list above is somewhat a distortion of the truth. That is because during the Age of Dinosaurs, there were also some mammals, frogs, crocodiles, turtles, and other non-dinosaurs roaming
the earth, so it can be a bit misleading. Generally, however, it gives us an idea of who lived when.