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4.28Bil BC
In 2008 scientists reported that a pinkish tract of bedrock on the eastern shore of Canada's Hudson Bay contains the oldest known rocks on Earth, formed 4.28 billion years ago, not long after the planet was formed.
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4Bil BC
Northwest Canada was formed.
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3.77Bil BC
Scientists in 2017 reported that microfossils of tiny tubular structures in ancient Canadian rocks dated to this time and were believed to be microbes.
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2Bil BC
Fossils found in rock from Ontario, Canada, consist of bacteria and blue-green algae.
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2Bil BC
A Mount Everest-sized object crashed near Sudbury, Canada about this time and left a crater covering 1,800 sq. km.
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1.85Bil BC
In Ontario, Canada, near the town of Sudbury, a meteor that was at least 10 miles across struck down. The remaining crater is 60 by 45 miles and was found to contain a profusion of "buckyballs" (peculiar hollow molecules of carbon) with samples of ancient star stuff packed inside.
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635Mil BC
541Mil BC
The Ediacaran Period featured pre-Cambrian animals whose fossils were later found in Australia, Canada, the English Midlands and China. Creatures called rangeomorphs dated to this period.
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600Mil BC
Layers of lava and ash from volcanic activity of this time were later evident at Green Gardens, Newfoundland, Canada.
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560Mil BC
The Fermeuse formation of Newfoundland, Canada, dated to about this time. In 2014 scientists identified traces of muscle in a cnidarian, Haootia quadriformis, a creature related to modern jellyfish, sea anemones and coral.
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515Mil BC
The Burgess Shale, a rock formation amid the glaciated mountains of British Columbia, created by mud slides that swept shallow water Cambrian creatures over a marine cliff and buried them almost instantly. Specimens include: Pikaia (a chordate, ancestor of fish, reptiles, and mammals), Odontogriphus, Amiskwia, Ottoia (a Priapulid worm), Wiwaxia (a Polychaete worm or mollusk), Burgessochaeta (an annelid worm), Opabinia, Sanctacaris (arthropod, forerunner of spiders and scorpions), Canadaspis (arthropod, early crustacean), Aysheaia (possible arthropod), Eldonia, Hyolith, Brachiopods, Dinomischus, Anomalocaris, Sponges and Trilobites. In 1989 Stephen Jay Gould authored "Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History." In 1998 Simon Conway Morris authored "The Crucible of Creation: The Burgess Shale and the Rise of Animals."
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505Mil BC
In 2014 researchers described a fish named Metaspriggina walcotti that dated to about this time. It was collected in the Burgess Shale of British Colombia and featured large eyes and a notochord running along its back.
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500Mil BC
A 30-mile size crater, a mile underneath the bed of Lake Huron, just north of Port Huron, Michigan, marks the impact of a meteor. It was discovered in 1990 by scientists from the Geological Survey of Canada.
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500Mil BC
480Mil BC
Scientists in 2002 reported that sandstone from this period found north of lake Ontario, Canada, contained tracks of foot-long critters with at least 8 pairs of walking legs. They may have been euthycarcinoids, whose segmented bodies included outer shells and long legs.
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415Mil BC
The lighthouse at Peggy's Cove in Halifax, Canada, stands on granite boulders of this age.
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383Mil BC
In 2004 paleontologists found fossils of a primitive fish, named Tiktaalik roseae, on Ellesmere Island in Canada’s Nunavut territory that dated to about this time. The fossils showed evidence of ribs, neck, rudimentary ear bones and primitive limbs.

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375Mil BC
In 2006 scientists reported the discovery of a predator fossil fish dating to this time in on Canada’s Ellesmere Island in the High Arctic. It was later named Tiktaalik roseae and further analysis found it to have developed a mobile neck, an important development for living on land. The fish displayed bones at the ends of its fins suggestive of developing fingers and toes.
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359Mil BC
345Mil BC
In 2005 it was reported that tracks of 4-legged terrestrial animals dated to this period were found at Nova Scotia’s Bay of Fundy.
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350Mil BC
270Mil BC
The first amniotes were small, apparently secretive insect eaters. The remains of the earliest representatives were found inside fossilized trunks of hollow Nova Scotia logs.
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320Mil BC
Reversing Falls in the Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick, Canada, dates to this time and is where at high tide surging salt water reverses the fresh water of the St. John River up 48 feet at high tide.
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190Mil BC
A 4th mass extinction occurred at the end of the Triassic. Lake Manicouagan in Quebec, a 60-mile crater, was formed by a cosmic impact that may be related to the extinction. Cotylosaurs, a possible missing link between mammals and reptiles, were lost.
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125Mil BC
In 2004 Canadian geologists reported the discovery of dinosaur tracks and a fossilized turtle shell, estimated to be about 125 million years old, north of Terrace, British Columbia.
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110Mil BC
An ankylosaur, a plant-eating dinosaur with powerful limbs, armor plating and a club-like tail inhabited northern Alberta. Its fossils, discovered in 2011, were not supposed to be there because the area at this time was covered by water.
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80Mil BC
Upper Cretaceous Oldman and Edmonton formation in Alberta, Canada, has fossils of Struthiomimus. It was typical of the "ostrich dinosaurs," the last of the coelurosaurs. Their forelegs had three-fingered grasping hands. The body was long, horizontal, and balanced by a long rigid tail.
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79Mil BC
A triceratops, later named Wendiceratops pinhornensis, thrived in Alberta, Canada, during this time. In 2015 she was said to be one of the oldest members of the Ceratopsidae ever found.
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78Mil BC
A dinosaur species of this time, later found in Canada and named Albertaceratops nesmoi, was a plant-eater with yard-long horns over its eyebrows, suggesting an evolutionary middle step between older dinosaurs with even larger horns and the small-horned creatures that followed.
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76Mil BC
The horned dinosaur Spinops sternbergorum, which comes from the same herbivore family as the Triceratops, lived about this time. It remains were discovered in 1916 in a quarry known as the "bone bed" in Alberta, Canada. In 2011 scientists identified the bull-size dinosaur as a new species of the Late Cretaceous.
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70Mil BC
In 2008 a Canadian researcher reported what is believed to be North America's smallest dinosaur, a 70-million-year-old chicken-sized beast that was also unusual for its diet of insects. Its bones were excavated near Red Deer, in fossil-rich Alberta, in 2002 among about 20 Albertosaurus remains, and went unnoticed.
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70Mil BC
The dinosaur Hypacrosaurus stebingeri, a rhinoceros-sized creature, lived about this time in Canada.
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49Mil BC
The mountains in British Columbia had already risen as high as 14,000 feet by this time.
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22000 BC
In 2017 it was reported that archeological studies at the Bluefish Caves in Canada’s Yukon territory showed evidence that animal bones dating to about this time had been stripped of their flesh by stone tools.
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11000 BC
Scientists in 2005 said archeological sites dating to this time in Michigan, Canada, Arizona, New Mexico, and the Carolinas showed evidence, magnetic metal spherules, for a comet impact that may have wiped out North American mammoths and many other animals.
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10900 BC
Wildfires about this time broke out across the US and Canada after an object, roughly a kilometer across, grazed the Earth and broke up in the atmosphere depositing its oomph as heat. A mass extinction about this time occurred in parts of North America and coincided with the growing population of Indian hunters. Archeologists later identified a layer of charcoal and glass-like beads of carbon as evidence of the event. Fires melted substantial portions of the Laurentide glacier in Canada sending waves of water down the Mississippi that caused changes in the Atlantic Ocean currents. This started a 1,300-year ice age known as the Younger Dryas.
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10700 BC
Melting glaciers caused a deluge of some 2,000 cubic miles of fresh water from a prehistoric lake in southwestern Ontario. This impacted the Atlantic thermohaline circulation and sent temperatures over the North Atlantic plummeting. Temperatures in Greenland dropped by 18 degrees Fahrenheit.
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6200 BC
The glacial lake Agassiz-Ojibway, body of water so vast that it covered parts of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, North Dakota, Ontario and Minnesota, massively drained, sending a flow of water into the Hudson Strait and the Labrador Sea. The sudden flood of fresh water diluted the saltiness of the Gulf Stream weakening its flow.
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1001
Norse sagas claim that Leif Ericson and a band of 35 men sailed for western lands based on an account by the Viking Bjarni Herjulfsson, who had sighted land after being blown off course. They found a land they called Vinland and built houses but returned to Greenland before the winter.
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1002
Leaf Ericson’s brother, Thorvald, arrived in Vinland but was killed by native Indians. A 3-year settlement was begun a few years later when Thorfin Karlsefni established a base with around 100 men and women at the L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland.
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1005
Snorri Thorfinnson, son of Viking explorers Gudrid Thorbjarnardottir and Thorfinn Karlsefni, was born in Vinland (probably Newfoundland), the 1st European born in the New World. The family later returned east and settled in Iceland.
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1013
The last Viking attempt to settle Vinland was made.
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1497 Jun 24
Italian explorer John Cabot (1450-1498?), (aka Giovanni Caboto), on a voyage for England, landed in North America on what is now Newfoundland or the northern Cape Breton Island in Canada. He claimed the new land for King Henry VII. He documented the abundance of fish off the Grand Banks from Cape Cod to Labrador.
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1500
1530
The so-called Mantle site, a settlement on the North shore of Lake Ontario, was occupied by the Wendat (Huron). Excavations at the site, between 2003 and 2005, uncovered its 98 longhouses, a palisade of three rows (a fence made of heavy wooden stakes and used for defense) and about 200,000 artifacts. Scientists estimate between 1,500 and 1,800 individuals inhabited the site.
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1517 Jun 11
Sir Thomas Pert reached Hudson Bay.
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1528
England established its first colony in the New World at St. Johns, Newfoundland.
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1534 May 10
Jacques Cartier reached Newfoundland. He noted the presence of the Micmac Indians who fished in the summer around the Magdalen Islands north of Nova Scotia.
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1534 Jun 9
Jacques Cartier became the first man to sail into the mouth of the St. Lawrence River.
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1534 Jun 29
Jacques Cartier discovered Canada’s Prince Edward Islands.
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1534 Jul 24
Jacques Cartier (43) on his 1st trip to the new world, landed in Canada and claimed it for France. Jacques Cartier while probing for a northern route to Asia visited Labrador and said: "Fit only for wild beasts... This must be the land God gave to Cain." [see May 10]
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1534 Sep
During his voyage back to France Cartier learned from the 2 Native sons, Dom Agaya and Taignoagny, who he'd kidnapped from Iroquoian Chief Donnacona, that their father's village of Stadacona (present-day Quebec) was called a 'kanata'. Cartier wrote the name 'Kanata' on his charts and maps, perhaps to mark the land belonging to Chief Donnacona's tribe. This is the first recorded use of the name 'Canada', and the name by which the country would become known.
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1535 Sep
The site of the city of Quebec was first visited by Jacques Cartier during his 2nd voyage to the New World. It was an Indian village called Stadacona. Quebec is the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in what is now Canada.
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1535 Oct 2
Jacques Cartier first saw the site of what is now Montreal and proclaimed "What a royal mountain," hence the name of the city. [see 1536] Having landed in Quebec a month ago, Jacques Cartier reached a town, which he names Montreal.
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1536 May
Jacques Cartier sailed for France from Canada and carried with him the kidnapped local chief Donnacona, who later died in France. Donnacona, prior to his death, described a mythical kingdom with great riches called Saguenay.
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1541 Aug 23
Jacques Cartier landed near Quebec on his third voyage to North America and established a short-lived community there.
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1557 Sep 1
Jacques Cartier, French explorer, died in St. Malo, France.
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1576 Jul 28
Martin Frobisher, English navigator, discovered Frobisher Bay in Canada. He explored the Arctic region of Canada and twice brought tons of gold back to England that was found to be iron pyrite. Michael Lok, textile exporter, led the financing for the 1st expedition which was made to find a route to China. Lok was later sued for losses from 3 expeditions.
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1592
Juan de Fuca, a Greek sailing for Spain, sailed into a strait that later became the border between Canada’s Vancouver Island, BC, and the Olympic Peninsula of Washington state. The waterway was later named the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
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1604
Samuel de Champlain sailed into the river estuary at what later became the seaport of St. John in New Brunswick.
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1605 Jun
Pierre Dugua moved the French settlement at St. Croix, Maine, to Nova Scotia at a site named Port Royal.
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1607 Sep 28
Samuel de Champlain and his colonists returned to France from Port Royal Nova Scotia.
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1608 Jul 3
The city of Quebec was founded as a trading post by Samuel de Champlain. The French adventurer Etienne Brule accompanied Champlain to North America and was reportedly eaten by the Huron Indians.
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1610 Aug 3
Henry Hudson of England discovered a great bay on the east coast of Canada and named it for himself.
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1611 Jun 22
English explorer Henry Hudson, his son and several other people were set adrift in present-day Hudson Bay by mutineers. The starving crew of the Discovery, which had spent the winter trapped by ice in Hudson Bay, mutinied against Hudson, who was never seen again.
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