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27 September 2011

Geologic timescale names

The geologic timescale: Where did those names come from? Here’s some etymological information I share with my Historical Geology students so that the names become meaningful symbols of ideas, rather than simply of bunch of nonsensical gibberish to memorize… Phanerozoic eon – Greek for “visible life” Cenozoic era – Greek for “new life” Quaternary – Latin for “fourth” Holocene – Greek for “entirely new” Pleistocene – Greek for “mostly new” …

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