Humans

LUCA – Last Universal Common Ancestor

LUCA, the last universal common ancestor, is the most recent population of organisms from which all current life on Earth descended from. Although no LUCA fossil has yet been found, geneticists can study LUCA by studying it’s descendants, that is, all life on Earth.  

Animals, Plants, and Fungi Split

Eukaryote cells evolve into three separate lineages, the ancestors of modern plants, fungi and animals. Later animals evolve into the animal kingdom which includes mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, insects, crustaceans, arachnids, echiniderms, worms, mollusks, and sponges.

Mitochondrion

Internal Organelles Evolve

Eukaryotic cells are cells with internal organs, organelles and the DNA is in the nucleus. The predecessor prokaryote cells do not have a nucleus, but do have DNA. All cells in all animals, plants, and insects are eukaryotic, but all animals, plants, and insects host millions of critters based on both eukaryotic and prokaryote cells.

First Vertebrates

The earliest known vertebrates originated about 525 million BCE during the Cambrian explosion. 

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First Land Plants

The first land plants appeared during the Ordovician period. Life was diversifying rapidly during the Ordovician period.

Jellyfish moving through water

First True Animals – Comb Jellyfish

Through genetic analyses, scientists now believe the Comb Jellyfish is the earliest known true animal to evolve on Earth. Prior to this genetic analyses, simple sponges were thought to have evolved first.

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First Multicellular Animals

Organisms that consist of more than one cell took several billion years to evolve from unicellular organisms. All species of animals, land plants and most fungi are multicellular, as well as many algae. A few organisms are partially both such as slime molds and social amoebae.

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Oldest Known Fossil-Microorganisms

The earliest known life on Earth are fossilized microorganisms found in hydrothermal vent precipitates. Currently dated to about 3.42 billion BCE.

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Man Made Glass

The earliest known man made glass dates back to circa 3500 BCE and to Egypt and Eastern Mesopotamia. Discovery of glassblowing around 1st century BC was a major breakthrough in glass making.

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Electron Microscope = Nanoworld Discovered!

Starting in 1931 with the invention of the electron microscope, the nanoworld became visible to us. The nanoworld contains items as small in diameter as 1 micrometer (1 micron) to a diameter 1,000 times smaller, a diameter of 1 nanometer. The nanoworld includes the smallest single celled organisms, the smallest bacteria as well as viruses, proteins, and molecules. Note: The virus was discovered in 1892 through scientific experiments and first seen in the 1930s.

Various bacteria cells in microscope. Streptococcus pneumonia, p

Microscope Invented = Microworld Discovered!

With the invention of the microscope, humanity became aware of the microworld which is defined as 1 to 1000 microns. A micron is equal to one thousands of a millimeter. A cell is about 10 microns wide. Paper is about 100 microns thick. The unaided human eye can see items as small as 50 microns, or about half the width of a piece of paper. Scientists use three scales when talking about the biological world: the milliworld, microworld, and the nanoworld. The milliworld contains all visible items down to 1 millimeter and includes very small things such as ants, fleas,..Read More/Comment

crystal lens ball in a woman’s hand, with a refracted view of a misty country lane

Earliest Known Magnification

The earliest known magnification dates back to the first century. These simple early magnification devices consisted of using natural crystals or a glass globe filled with water. It is reasonable to assume the use of natural crystals for magnification was around for many thousands of years. One possible specimen is the Nimrud lens dating back to 750 BCE. Although man-made glass was in common use about 3500 BCE, eye glasses would have to wait about 4,500 years later. Eye glasses were invented in the 13th century. A few centuries earlier, a reading glass was in common use. A piece of..Read More/Comment

Sumer Civilization

From 6500 to 4000 BCE, the Sumer civilization increased in social polarization. For example, central houses in the settlements became bigger. This early Sumer culture is characterized by large unwalled villages with multi-roomed rectangular mud-brick houses. The village featured public buildings including temples and centralized government. They had fine quality greenish colored pottery decorated with geometric designs in brown or black paint. Their known tools that survived the test of time included sickles made of hard fired clay, stone, and metal and the use of ploughs. Villages included craftspeople, potters, weavers and metalworkers, but the bulk of the population were..Read More/Comment

Major Religion: Hinduism

Hinduism was founded sometime before 1500 BCE, but does not have a founder so the exact date is difficult to specify. Like most ancient religions, it is a synthesis of various traditions. Hinduism today is generally centered around the Vedas, ancient sacred texts.

Oldest Known Monotheistic Religion: Atenism

In the ninth year of the reign of Akhenaten, he declared the traditional supreme God Aten to be the only God of Egypt with himself as the sole communicator to Aten, kind of like an early Pope. This early attempt at monotheism failed after about 20 years and Egypt returned to their traditional polytheistic religion. About the image: Akhenaton and Nefertiti seated, holding 3 of their daughters, under the rays of the sun god Aten giving Ankh-symbols to them (Picture provided by ArchaiOptix).

City of Catalhoyuk

The city of Çatalhöyük was a very large Neolithic city in the southern Anatolia peninsula in modern day Turkey. The population of 5,000 to 10,000 lived in mudbrick buildings. Some of the larger buildings have ornate murals. A painting of the village, with the twin mountain peaks in the background is frequently cited as the world’s oldest map, and the first landscape painting. No sidewalks nor streets were used between the dwellings. The clustered honeycomb-like maze of dwellings were accessed by holes in the ceiling and by doors on the side of houses. The doors were accessed by ladders and..Read More/Comment

Oldest Known Bracelet

It was discovered inside the Denisova Cave beside ancient human remains. The Denisova Cave is a cave located in Siberia, Russia. Other cave finds include woolly mammoth and woolly rhino bones. Scientists say there is evidence that the bracelet’s maker used a drill. This is the earliest known example of advanced drilling in the world. Head of the museum Irina Salnikova said: ‘The skills of its creator were perfect. Initially we thought that it was made by Neanderthals or modern humans, but it turned out that the master was Denisovan.” This has led to speculation that these earliest humans, Denisovans,..Read More/Comment

Code of Hammurabi

A set of about 300 legal laws written in stone from ancient Near East that withstood the test of time. Hammurabi, the sixth king of the First Dynasty of Babylonian, wrote it in the Old Babylonion dialect of Akkadian. The text itself was copied and studied by Mesopotamian scribes for over a millennium. For example: “If a man should blind the eye of another man, they shall blind his eye.”

Haplogroup L, 23andme.com screenshot.

Eve: Haplogroup L

7,000 Generations Ago All humans today share a single grandma, circa 175,000 BCE. We know this because all humans alive today share our ancestor’s haplogroup L genes — from our X chromosome. She was one of many thousands of women living in eastern Africa. Many maternal lines survived for many generations but ultimately over time all the other female lineages died out.

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