Geologic Time in Your Lifetime

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Geologic Time in Your Lifetime
Geologic Time in Your Lifetime
Biology Activity
Overview: Construct a timeline of your life, from the time you were born until now. You will be given a
list of specifications for your timeline. Once you have completed your timeline, you will compare the
geologic time scale (4 billion years) to your own life timeline.
Purpose: To compare geologic time to your own lifespan.
Materials:
 8 ½ x 14 sheet of paper (provided)
 Ruler (a must)
 Colored pencils
Procedure:
1. Turn your paper sideways. Using a ruler, draw a line from one side the other. Use a scale of
½ inch = 1 year.
2. Mark a dot on the line every ½ for each year. Draw a short vertical line to mark each year on
your timeline. It might be helpful to make your line for every 5 years a little longer.
3. On the TOP of your lifeline, you will label each line or every fifth line with the age you were
(ex. 1 year old…. 2 years old or 5 years old…10 years old).
4. On the BOTTOM of your lifeline, label each line with the actual years (ex. 1999…2000…2001) or
label every fifth year from the time you were born. (ex. 1999…2004…2009)
5. On the top of your timeline, label 8 personal events that are memorable moments. (ex. Special
occasions <baptism, bar mitzvah etc.>, “first” events, birth of siblings, family deaths, surgeries,
broken bones, varsity sports, etc…)
6. On the bottom of your timeline, label 5 world events that have occurred in your lifetime.
7. You may include pictures of events if you have any.
8. Once your timeline is complete, you will then determine how your timescale compares to the
geologic timescale of 4 billion years!
a. Cenozoic Era has been in existence for 65 million years (65my)
b. Mesozoic Era existed for approximately 160my
c. Paleozoic Era lasted for approximately 345my
d. Precambrian Era lasted for approximately 3.4 billion years (3.4by)
9. Of the 4 billion years of geologic time (actually 4.6by), calculate the following percentages that
each Era makes up. The first one is completed (note that 4 billion = 4,000 million)
a. Cenozoic Era = 65 million/4,000 million = 2%
b. Mesozoic Era =
c. Paleozoic Era=
d. Precambrian Era =
10. Using the percentages above, determine how many years of your life each percentage is. Use
the instructions below.
a. Change 2% to a decimal…. 0.02
b. Multiply .02 by your age
c. Round off your answer to the nearest tenth.
11. This will give you an understanding of how long each Era lasted if it were scaled down to fit into
your lifetime. Mark your timeline indicating when each Era began and ended in your lifetime.
12. Use figure 15-18 to list at least 2 biological events that have occurred during each Era on the
timeline.

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