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    Timelines – Biodiversity key species

    Timeline (Million Years Ago)Key SpeciesDescription
    3850 – 750First Prokaryotic OrganismsSingle-celled organisms with no nucleus. These are the Earth’s earliest forms of life.
    750 – 600First Eukaryotic OrganismsThese are more complex single-celled organisms, each with a nucleus.
    600 – 542First Multicellular OrganismsThis era marked the emergence of simple multi-cellular organisms.
    540TrilobitesArthropods that were among the early prolific complex organisms. They dominated the oceans during the Paleozoic era.
    530First VertebratesEarly forms of fish, the first organisms with a backbone.
    360 – 300AmphibiansThese were the first vertebrates to walk on land, evolved from lobe-finned fishes.
    230DinosaursA group of reptiles that appeared during the Mesozoic era. They were dominant terrestrial vertebrates.
    200MammalsMammals are a group of warm-blooded vertebrates constituting the class Mammalia.
    150BirdsDescendants of theropod dinosaurs, they have become the most diverse group of land vertebrates.
    130FlowersThe first flowering plants appeared, allowing for the proliferation of species that depended on them.
    60PrimatesThis group includes humans and our closest animal relatives.
    0.2Homo SapiensOur own species, the thinking human, emerged in Africa.