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4.37Bil BC
Scientists in 2014 reported that a zircon crystal discovered in Western Australia in 2010 has been determined to be 4.374 billion years old, making it the oldest rock ever discovered on Earth. In 2005 Scientists had used the radioactive decay rate of uranium to date zircons from Western Australia to 4.3Bil BC - 4.1Bil BC. The evidence pointed to a watery world well-suited for life to emerge.
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3.5Bil BC
The Apex Chert of Australia indicate that by this time at least 11 kinds of bacteria existed.
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3.4Bil BC
A team of scientists in 2011, led by David Wacey and Martin Brasier, reported the discovery of fossilized, single-celled organisms dating to this time in sandstone of the Strelley Pool rock formation in Western Australia.
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2.7Bil BC
In 1999 Australian geologists under Jochen J. Brocks reported fossil "biomolecules" from this time. Traces of steranes produced by eukaryotes, and methylhopanes from cyanobacteria were reported.
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1.2Bil BC
Scientists reported in 2002 that sandstone rocks from the Sterling Range of Australia showed evidence of wormlike creatures from about this time.
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650Mil BC
In 2008 Australian scientists said they had discovered in an outback mountain range a reef that was under water at this time.
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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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560Mil BC
In 2003 a fossil of a 2.56-inch fishlike animal from the Flinders Ranges of southern Australia was believed to be at least 560 million years old, 30 million years older than the previous record.
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500Mil BC
A huge shellfish-type creature called anomalocaris lived about this time. In 2011 Australian scientists hailed the discovery of a pair of insect-like eyes belonging to a freakish prehistoric super-predator. The fossilized eyes measuring three cm (1.2 inches) across and with a whopping 16,000 individual lenses.
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380Mil BC
In 2009 Scientists from Australia and Britain studying 380 million-year-old fossils of the armored placoderm fish, or Incisoscutum richiei, said embryos in the fish indicated that sex as we know it, fertilization of eggs while they are still inside a female, took place as much as 30 million years earlier than previously thought. They originally thought the fish laid their eggs before fertilization.
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250Mil BC
The worst mass extinction in Earth’s history occurred about this time.
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170Mil BC
The semi-aquatic platypus is thought to have split off from a common ancestor shared with humans approximately about this time. In 2008 scientists laid bare the platypus genome of 2.2 billion base pairs spread across 18,500 genes.
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130Mil BC
Stegosaurus dinosaurs left footprints near Broome, Australia.
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125Mil BC
Meat-eating dinosaurs, known as ceratosaurs, lived in Australia about this time. They represented globe-trotting groups which spread out across the world before the continents began to separate. In 2006 a ceratosaur ankle bone was found near the coastal town of San Remo by an amateur paleontologist.
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115Mil BC
In 2006 scientists identified two ancient reptiles that swam in icy waters off Australia about this time. The discoveries, dubbed Umoonasaurus and Opallionectes, belonged to a group of animals called plesiosaurs, long-necked marine reptiles that lived during the time of the dinosaurs. Both creatures lived in a freezing polar sea that covered what is now Australia, when the continent was located much closer to Antarctica.
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115Mil BC
In 2007 scientists reported that large, carnivorous dinosaurs roamed southern Australia about this time, when the continent was joined to the Antarctica. The 12-foot dinosaurs were padded with body fat to survive temperatures as low as minus 30 degrees Celsius. Their findings were based on fossil footprints.
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115Mil BC
105Mil BC
Dinosaur tracks were made in Australia during this period when it was connected to Antarctica and was located much closer to the South Pole, as a part of the paleogeographic continent of Gondwana. The average temperature of the area was around 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius). In 2011 printed slabs of sandstone were found along the rocky and remote Milanesia Beach in Otways National Park, west of Melbourne.
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110Mil BC
The Daintree rain forest of North Queensland dated to this time.
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100Mil BC
A snake, later named Wonambi, emerged in Australia about this time. It was believed to have extinct about 50,000 BC.
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100Mil BC
Australia split from Gondwana about this time and began drifting north away from what is now Antarctica, pushed by the expansion of a rift valley into the eastern Indian Ocean.
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98Mil BC
Scientists in 2009 confirmed for the first time that Australia was once home to a dinosaur of this time that was big, fast and terrifying. Australovenator wintonensis was a 1,100 pound (500 kilogram) meat-eating predator with three slashing claws.
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80Mil BC
In 2017 scientists reported that a continent named Zealandia, believed to have broken away from Australia about this time, sank beneath the sea as part of the break-up of the super-continent known as Gondwanaland.
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30Mil BC
A giant snake, later named Yurlunggur, lived in Australia about this time. In 2006 it was reported fossils of the snake added a link to how snakes descended from dearly lizards.
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25Mil BC
In 1997 a teenage surfer named Staumn Hunter found a whale fossil in a limestone rock at Jan Juc Beach, Australia. Researchers named it Janjucetus hunderi in his honor. In 2006 researchers said it was an ancestor of modern baleen whales. The fossil suggests a creature that grew to a little more than 11 feet with teeth about an inch-and-a-half long.
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25Mil BC
In 2007 Scientists reported that a fossil from this time, found in Queensland, Australia, in the 1990s, has revealed that a predecessor of the hopping kangaroo once galloped on all fours, had dog-like fangs and possibly climbed trees.
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20Mil BC
10Mil BC
A team of Australian paleontologists in 2006 said they had found the fossilized remains of a fanged killer kangaroo and what they describe as a "demon duck of doom" that lived during this period in Queensland state.
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15Mil BC
In Australia sheep-sized relatives of modern-day wombats lived treetops about this time. The wombat-like marsupial was later named Nimbadon lavarackorum. The world's largest tree-climbing marsupial were among fossils found at the Riversleigh World Heritage Site in Queensland state. The Nimbadon fossil material was found in 2010.
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2Mil BC
50
000BC In Australia a herbivorous diprotodon, the largest marsupial to ever roam the earth, lived about this time. A fossil of the car sized mega-wombat was unearthed in northern Australia in 2011.
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400000 BC
48000 BC
400k BC - 48k BC A human group, later called the Denisovans, lived in Asia during this period. They then interbred with humans expanding from Africa along the coast of South Asia. In 2010 fossil evidence from a Siberian cave in 2008 revealed that their DNA was related to the DNA of people from New Guinea, which contained 4.8% Denisovan DNA. 3-5% of the DNA from native people of Papua New Guinea, Australia, the Philippines and other nearby islands came from Denisovans, who left Africa as far back as 800,000 BC. In 2014 scientists reported that a genetic between extinct Denisovans and some modern-day Tibetans and Sherpas.
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150000 BC
In 1980 evidence of Aboriginal habitation were discovered in charcoal remains deep in the bed of the Great Barrier Reef and dated to about this time.
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114000 BC
Controversial data from the Jinmium rock-shelter in northern Australia suggests humans may have reached the continent at this time.
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100000 BC
50000 BC
The 200-pound Genyornis newtoni, an ostrich-like bird, and the 25-foot Megalonia lizard were among the megafauna that flourished in Australia during this period.
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53000 BC
50000 BC
During this period the first humans migrated to Australia from the islands of Indonesia. It is believed that they came in bamboo rafts from Indonesia and also from southern China.
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53000 BC
45000 BC
Australia’s early human population wiped out the continent’s megafauna over this period.
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51000 BC
The fossil of a Diprotodon, a giant marsupial from this time, was excavated in 2001 from Cox’s Creek in New South Wales.
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50000 BC
Research on hair DNA in 2011 indicated that the first humans arrived in Australia about this time.
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48000 BC
44000 BC
In Australia about 85% of the land-dwelling megafauna weighing over 100 pounds went extinct about this time. It was later suspected that systematic burning of the forests by humans contributed to the extinction. Some 55 species died off including the 230-pound flightless "thunder bird" called genyornis.
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45000 BC
The extinction of most of Australia’s large animals occurred about this time, shortly after the arrival of humans.
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41000 BC
A land bridge between Australia and Tasmania formed about this time allowing people to cross into Tasmania. Two thousand years later the megafauna of Tasmania were gone.
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38000 BC
1996
Scientists in Australia said that they found a shrub in Tasmania that began growing 40,000 years ago. Dubbed "King’s Holly," the plant clones itself and now covers 2 secluded river gullies in the remote southwest.
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35000 BC
25000 BC
Aboriginal rock paintings in Australia were made as far back as this time.
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35000 BC
In 2008 archeologists unearthed tools dating back at least 35,000 years in a rock shelter in Australia's remote northwest, making it one of the oldest archaeological finds in that part of the country.
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35000 BC
A piece of a stone axe dating to this time was discovered in 2010 on sacred Aboriginal land in Australia, the oldest object of its type ever found. Archeologists said the discovery is evidence that Aboriginal Jawoyn people from Arnhem Land could have been the first to grind axes to sharpen their edges.
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28000 BC
In 2012 archaeologist Bryce Barker dated the oldest piece of rock art in Australia and one of the oldest in the world: an Aboriginal work created about this time in the Northern Territory rock shelter known as Nawarla Gabarnmang.
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20000 BC
In Australia scientists in 2005 said hundreds of human footprints dating back 20,000 years were discovered in a dry lake bed near Willandra Lakes, southwest of Sydney.
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2217 BC
In 2013 scientists reported DNA evidence that people from India arrived in Australia about this time and mixed with the local aboriginals.
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1500 BC
Domesticated dogs companied people to Timor, New Guinea and Australia by about this time. The dogs reverted to a feral existence and in Australia became dingoes.
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3
In 1993 paleobiologist J.W. Schopf reported the discovery of microfossils dating to this time in the Apex chert of the Warrawoona group in Western Australia. In 2002 Martin Brasier of the Univ. Of Oxford said the fossils were just mineral artifacts.
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1522
In 2007 The book "Beyond Capricorn" said a 16th century maritime map in a Los Angeles library vault, which accurately marks geographical sites along Australia's east coast in Portuguese, proves that Portuguese seafarer Christopher de Mendonca lead a fleet of four ships into Botany Bay in this year.
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1642 Nov 24
Abel Janszoon Tasman (d.1659) discovered Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania).
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1643 Dec 25
Captain William Mynors of the Royal Mary, a British East India Company vessel, named Christmas Island when he sailed past it on Christmas Day. Sovereignty of the island was transferred to Australia in 1957.
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1659 Oct 10
Able Janszoon Tasman, navigator, died at about 56. He discovered Tasmania.
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1757 Jun 1
Ignaz J. Pleyel, Austrian composer, piano builder (Piano method), was born.
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1768 Aug 26
Capt James Cook departed from Plymouth with Endeavour to the Pacific Ocean. Daniel Solander and Joseph Banks accompanied Cook to catalog plants and animals of Australia and New Zealand on the 3-year journey.
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1768
1771
Capt. James Cook charted the coasts of both the north and south islands of New Zealand and Australia. Cook made his historic voyages in colliers, slow but strong ships designed primarily for carrying coal. His ship was named the Endeavour. Cook's voyage to Australia kept a botanical record called the Banks Florilegium. The 738 original plates commissioned by Sir Joseph Banks was not printed until a 100 set limited edition in 1989.
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1770 Apr 9
Captain James Cook discovered Botany Bay on the Australian continent.
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1770 Apr 19
Capt. James Cook first saw Australia. [see Apr 9]
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1770 Apr 20
Captain Cook arrived in New South Wales, Australia.
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1770 Jun 11
Capt. James Cook, commander of the British ship Endeavour, discovered the Great Barrier Reef off Australia by running onto it.
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1772
Upon the partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria, or simply Galicia, became the largest, most populous, and northernmost province of Austria where it remained until the dissolution of Austria-Hungary at the end of World War I. Jews accounted for 10% of the 2.6 million population of Galicia.
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