Big Systems

Correlated History of Earth

Understanding geological and biological time

The long view. Or rather, views. Geological time and biological time run at such different paces that the two perspectives are not easily brought together. This crisp chart joins them with extraordinary clarity. It lays out the chronologies of continents skittering around the globe, of comet and asteroid impacts, and of life’s increasingly diverse groups of living creatures and how they fit into geological time. And more. Ordinarily, combining such staggering amounts of information would yield mush and muddle. But this exquisitely printed, laminated poster manages to present 4.5 billion years of geology and biology as the unified whole that it is. Like a good map it teaches something at two feet away, or you can get out a magnifying glass and read down for details.

— KK

A Correlated History of Earth
Pan Terra
1999, 28 x 38 inches
$25 postpaid
Pan Terra Inc., PO Box 556,
Hill City, SD, 57745

From the chart’s Web site:
“Included are plate tectonic maps, mountain building events (orogenies), major volcanic episodes, glacial epochs, all known craters from asteroid and comet impacts, over 100 classic fossil localities from around the world, fossil ranges of plants, invertebrates and vertebrate life forms, and major extinction events as revealed by the fossil record. Also evident on this chart are the “Cambrian explosion” of animal phyla and the juxtaposition of reptiles and mammals across the Cretaceous/Tertiary (K/T) boundary. Hundreds of illustrations add a striking visual dimension to the data.”


© 2022