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Mammal
MAMMALS are any vertebrates within the class MAMMALIA (/məˈmeɪli.ə/ from Latin mamma "breast"), a clade of endothermic amniotes distinguished from reptiles (including birds ) by the possession of a neocortex (a region of the brain), hair , three middle ear bones and mammary glands . Females of all mammal species nurse their young with milk , secreted from the mammary glands. Mammals include the biggest animals on the planet, the great whales . The basic body type is a terrestrial quadruped , but some mammals are adapted for life at sea , in the air , in trees , underground or on two legs . The largest group of mammals, the placentals , have a placenta , which enables the feeding of the fetus during gestation. Mammals range in size from the 30–40 mm (1.2–1.6 in) bumblebee bat to the 30-meter (98 ft) blue whale . With the exception of the five species of monotreme (egg-laying mammals), all modern mammals give birth to live young
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Ordovician
The ORDOVICIAN ( /ɔːrdəˈvɪʃən/ ) is a geologic period and system , the second of six periods of the Paleozoic Era . The Ordovician
Ordovician
spans 41.2 million years from the end of the Cambrian Period 485.4 million years ago (Mya) to the start of the Silurian Period 443.8 Mya. The Ordovician, named after the Celtic tribe of the Ordovices , was defined by Charles Lapworth in 1879 to resolve a dispute between followers of Adam Sedgwick and Roderick Murchison , who were placing the same rock beds in northern Wales into the Cambrian
Cambrian
and Silurian periods, respectively. Lapworth recognized that the fossil fauna in the disputed strata were different from those of either the Cambrian or the Silurian
Silurian
periods, and placed them in a period of their own
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Taxonomy (biology)
TAXONOMY (from Ancient Greek τάξις (taxis ), meaning 'arrangement', and -νομία (-nomia), meaning 'method ') is the science of defining and naming groups of biological organisms on the basis of shared characteristics. Organisms are grouped together into taxa (singular: taxon) and these groups are given a taxonomic rank ; groups of a given rank can be aggregated to form a super-group of higher rank, thus creating a taxonomic hierarchy. The principal ranks in modern use are domain , kingdom , phylum (division is sometimes used in botany in place of phylum), class , order , family , genus and species . The Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus
Carl Linnaeus
is regarded as the father of taxonomy, as he developed a system known as Linnaean taxonomy
Linnaean taxonomy
for categorization of organisms and binomial nomenclature for naming organisms
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Carboniferous
The CARBONIFEROUS is a geologic period and system that spans 60 million years from the end of the Devonian Period 358.9 million years ago (Mya ), to the beginning of the Permian
Permian
Period, 298.9 Mya. The name Carboniferous
Carboniferous
means "coal-bearing" and derives from the Latin words carbō ("coal ") and ferō ("I bear, I carry"), and was coined by geologists William Conybeare and William Phillips in 1822. Based on a study of the British rock succession, it was the first of the modern 'system' names to be employed, and reflects the fact that many coal beds were formed globally during that time. The Carboniferous
Carboniferous
is often treated in North America
North America
as two geological periods, the earlier Mississippian and the later Pennsylvanian . Terrestrial life was well established by the Carboniferous
Carboniferous
period
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Jurassic
The JURASSIC ( /dʒuːˈræsɪk/ ; from Jura Mountains
Jura Mountains
) was a geologic period and system that spanned for 56 million years from the end of the Triassic Period 201.3 million years ago (Mya ) to the beginning of the Cretaceous
Cretaceous
Period 145 Mya. The Jurassic
Jurassic
constituted the middle period of the Mesozoic Era , also known as the Age of Reptiles. The start of the period was marked by the major Triassic–Jurassic extinction event . Two other extinction events occurred during the period: the Pliensbachian/ Toarcian event in the Early Jurassic, and the Tithonian
Tithonian
event at the end; however, neither event ranks among the "Big Five" mass extinctions
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Paleogene
The PALEOGENE ( /ˈpæliːədʒiːn/ or /ˈpeɪliːədʒiːn/ ; also spelled PALAEOGENE or PALæOGENE; informally LOWER TERTIARY) is a geologic period and system that spans 43 million years from the end of the Cretaceous
Cretaceous
Period 66 million years ago (Mya ) to the beginning of the Neogene Period 23.03 Mya. It is the beginning of the Cenozoic Era of the present Phanerozoic Eon. The Paleogene is most notable for being the time during which mammals diversified from relatively small, simple forms into a large group of diverse animals in the wake of the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event
Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event
that ended the preceding Cretaceous
Cretaceous
Period. This period consists of the Paleocene , Eocene , and Oligocene epochs
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Devonian
The DEVONIAN is a geologic period and system of the Paleozoic , spanning 60 million years from the end of the Silurian
Silurian
, 419.2 million years ago (Mya), to the beginning of the Carboniferous
Carboniferous
, 358.9 Mya. It is named after Devon
Devon
, England
England
, where rocks from this period were first studied. The first significant adaptive radiation of life on dry land occurred during the Devonian. Free-sporing vascular plants began to spread across dry land , forming extensive forests which covered the continents . By the middle of the Devonian, several groups of plants had evolved leaves and true roots, and by the end of the period the first seed-bearing plants appeared. Various terrestrial arthropods also became well-established
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Precambrian
The PRECAMBRIAN (or PRE-CAMBRIAN, sometimes abbreviated PЄ, or CRYPTOZOIC) is the earliest period of Earth\'s history , set before the current Phanerozoic Eon. The Precambrian
Precambrian
is so named because it preceded the Cambrian, the first period of the Phanerozoic eon, which is named after Cambria , the Latinised name for Wales
Wales
, where rocks from this age were first studied. The Precambrian
Precambrian
accounts for 88% of the Earth's geologic time. The Precambrian
Precambrian
(colored green in the timeline figure) is a supereon that is subdivided into three eons (Hadean, Archean, Proterozoic) of the geologic time scale . It spans from the formation of Earth about 4.6 billion years ago (Ga ) to the beginning of the Cambrian
Cambrian
Period, about 541 million years ago (Ma ), when hard-shelled creatures first appeared in abundance
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Silurian
The SILURIAN is a geologic period and system spanning 24.6 million years from the end of the Ordovician
Ordovician
Period, at 443.8 million years ago (Mya ), to the beginning of the Devonian
Devonian
Period, 419.2 Mya. As with other geologic periods, the rock beds that define the period's start and end are well identified, but the exact dates are uncertain by several million years. The base of the Silurian
Silurian
is set at a major Ordovician-Silurian extinction event
Ordovician-Silurian extinction event
when 60% of marine species were wiped out. A significant evolutionary milestone during the Silurian
Silurian
was the diversification of jawed and bony fish
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Cambrian
The CAMBRIAN Period ( /ˈkæmbriən/ or /ˈkeɪmbriən/ ) was the first geological period of the Paleozoic Era, of the Phanerozoic Eon. The Cambrian
Cambrian
lasted 55.6 million years from the end of the preceding Ediacaran
Ediacaran
Period 541 million years ago (mya) to the beginning of the Ordovician Period 485.4 mya. Its subdivisions, and its base, are somewhat in flux. The period was established (as “Cambrian series”) by Adam Sedgwick , who named it after Cambria , the Latinised form of Cymru, the Welsh name for Wales
Wales
, where Britain's Cambrian
Cambrian
rocks are best exposed. The Cambrian
Cambrian
is unique in its unusually high proportion of lagerstätte sedimentary deposits, sites of exceptional preservation where "soft" parts of organisms are preserved as well as their more resistant shells
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Permian
The PERMIAN is a geologic period and system which spans 46.7 million years from the end of the Carboniferous Period 298.9 million years ago (Mya ), to the beginning of the Triassic
Triassic
Period 252.2 Mya. It is the last period of the Paleozoic Era; the following Triassic
Triassic
Period belongs to the Mesozoic Era. The concept of the Permian
Permian
was introduced in 1841 by geologist Sir Roderick Murchison , who named it after the city of Perm
Perm
. The Permian
Permian
witnessed the diversification of the early amniotes into the ancestral groups of the mammals , turtles , lepidosaurs , and archosaurs . The world at the time was dominated by two continents known as Pangaea and Siberia , surrounded by a global ocean called Panthalassa
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Neogene
The NEOGENE ( /ˈniːəˌdʒiːn/ ) is a geologic period and system that spans 20.45 million years from the end of the Paleogene Period 23.03 million years ago (Mya ) to the beginning of the present Quaternary Period 2.58 Mya. The Neogene
Neogene
is sub-divided into two epochs , the earlier Miocene
Miocene
and the later Pliocene . Some geologists assert that the Neogene
Neogene
cannot be clearly delineated from the modern geological period, the Quaternary . During this period, mammals and birds continued to evolve into roughly modern forms, while other groups of life remained relatively unchanged. Early hominids , the ancestors of humans, appeared in Africa
Africa
near the end of the period
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Class (biology)
In biological classification , CLASS (Latin : classis) is: * a taxonomic rank . Other well-known ranks in descending order of size are life , domain , kingdom , phylum , order , family , genus , and species , with class fitting between phylum and order. As for the other well-known ranks, there is the option of an immediately lower rank, indicated by the prefix sub-: subclass (Latin: subclassis). * a taxonomic unit, a taxon , in that rank. In that case the plural is classes (Latin classes) Example: Dogs are in the class Mammalia
Mammalia
. The composition of each class is determined by a taxonomist . Often there is no exact agreement, with different taxonomists taking different positions. There are no hard rules that a taxonomist needs to follow in describing a class, but for well-known animals there is likely to be consensus. In botany, classes are now rarely discussed
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Triassic
The TRIASSIC ( /traɪˈæsɪk/ ) is a geologic period and system which spans 50.9 million years from the end of the Permian Period 252.17 million years ago (Mya ), to the beginning of the Jurassic Period 201.3 Mya. The Triassic
Triassic
is the first period of the Mesozoic Era . Both the start and end of the period are marked by major extinction events . The Triassic
Triassic
began in the wake of the Permian– Triassic
Triassic
extinction event , which left the earth's biosphere impoverished; it would take well into the middle of this period for life to recover its former diversity. Therapsids and archosaurs were the chief terrestrial vertebrates during this time. A specialized subgroup of archosaurs , called dinosaurs , first appeared in the Late Triassic but did not become dominant until the succeeding Jurassic
Jurassic
Period
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Cretaceous
The CRETACEOUS ( /krᵻˈteɪʃəs/ , krə-TAY-shəs ) is a geologic period and system that spans 79 million years from the end of the Jurassic Period 145 million years ago (mya ) to the beginning of the Paleogene Period 66 mya. It is the last period of the Mesozoic Era . The Cretaceous
Cretaceous
Period is usually abbreviated K, for its German translation Kreide (chalk). The Cretaceous
Cretaceous
was a period with a relatively warm climate , resulting in high eustatic sea levels that created numerous shallow inland seas . These oceans and seas were populated with now-extinct marine reptiles , ammonites and rudists , while dinosaurs continued to dominate on land. During this time, new groups of mammals and birds , as well as flowering plants , appeared
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Trechnotheria
Theriiformes Rowe, 1988 TRECHNOTHERIA is a group of mammals that includes the therians and some fossil mammals from the Mesozoic
Mesozoic
Era. In the Jurassic
Jurassic
through Cretaceous
Cretaceous
periods, the group was endemic to what would be Asia
Asia
and Africa
Africa
. Trechnotheria
Trechnotheria
has been assigned various ranks, but was originally called a "superlegion" by the original author. One reference has defined the Trechnotheria