Trivia: Geologic Time Scale Quiz Questions!

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Trivia: Geologic Time Scale Quiz Questions! - Quiz

Below are some in-depth trivia geologic time scale quiz questions! Geologists organize the 4.6 billion years of earth's history into sections based on important changes seen in the geologic record. Some of these events are irreversible and help explain much about why the earth is the way it is. How about you give the quiz a try and get to refresh your memory on some of these periods and events. All the best!


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 

    ________________ are the longest subdivision of Geological Time Scale.

    • A.

      Eons

    • B.

      Eras

    • C.

      Periods

    • D.

      Epoch

    Correct Answer
    A. Eons
    Explanation
    Eons are the longest subdivision of the Geological Time Scale. They represent the largest units of time and are further divided into eras, which are then divided into periods, and finally into epochs. Eons encompass billions of years and provide a broad framework for understanding the history of the Earth.

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  • 2. 

    Which is the longest part of Earth's History? 

    • A.

      Precambrian Time

    • B.

      Paleozoic Era

    • C.

      Mesozoic Era

    • D.

      Cenozoic Era

    Correct Answer
    A. Precambrian Time
    Explanation
    The Precambrian Time is the longest part of Earth's history because it spans from the formation of the Earth, about 4.6 billion years ago, to the beginning of the Paleozoic Era, approximately 541 million years ago. This period encompasses about 88% of Earth's history and is characterized by the formation of the continents, the evolution of early life forms, and significant geological events such as the formation of mountains and the development of the atmosphere and oceans.

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  • 3. 

    During which era did Pangaea break up?

    • A.

      Precambrian Time

    • B.

      Paleozoic Era

    • C.

      Mesozoic Era

    • D.

      Cenozoic Era

    Correct Answer
    C. Mesozoic Era
    Explanation
    During the Mesozoic Era, which lasted from about 252 to 66 million years ago, Pangaea, the supercontinent that existed during the late Paleozoic and early Mesozoic eras, began to break up. This breakup led to the formation of the modern continents and the opening of the Atlantic Ocean. The Mesozoic Era is also known as the Age of Reptiles, as it was a time when dinosaurs and other reptiles dominated the Earth.

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  • 4. 

    During which era were the first land plants formed.

    • A.

      Precambrian

    • B.

      Paleozoic

    • C.

      Mesozoic

    • D.

      Cenozoic

    Correct Answer
    B. Paleozoic
    Explanation
    During the Paleozoic era, which lasted from about 541 to 252 million years ago, the first land plants formed. This era is often referred to as the "Age of Plants" because it saw the evolution and diversification of various plant groups, including the development of vascular plants and the colonization of land. Fossil evidence from this era shows the emergence of early land plants like mosses, ferns, and early seed plants, marking a significant milestone in the history of plant evolution.

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  • 5. 

    End of this era was believed to be caused by a comet or asteroid colliding with Earth, causing a huge cloud of dust and smoke to rise into the atmosphere, blocking out the sun.

    • A.

      Paleozoic Era

    • B.

      Mesozoic Era

    • C.

      Cenozoic Era

    • D.

      Precambian Time

    Correct Answer
    B. Mesozoic Era
    Explanation
    The Mesozoic Era is known as the Age of Dinosaurs and is believed to have ended due to a catastrophic event, such as a comet or asteroid colliding with Earth. This event caused a massive cloud of dust and smoke to rise into the atmosphere, blocking out the sun. This lack of sunlight led to a significant decrease in temperature and disrupted the food chain, ultimately leading to the extinction of many species, including the dinosaurs.

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  • 6. 

    The movie "Jurassic Park" got its title from which era?

    • A.

      Paleozoic Era

    • B.

      Mesozoic Era

    • C.

      Cenozoic Era

    • D.

      Precambian Time

    Correct Answer
    B. Mesozoic Era
    Explanation
    The movie "Jurassic Park" got its title from the Mesozoic Era. This era, also known as the Age of Reptiles, lasted from about 252 million years ago to 66 million years ago. It is known for the dominance and diversity of dinosaurs, which is a central theme in the movie. The title "Jurassic" specifically refers to the middle period of the Mesozoic Era, known for iconic dinosaurs like the T-Rex and Velociraptors.

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  • 7. 

    The Geologic time scale is subdivided into 4 groups. List them beginning with the largest.

    • A.

      Eon, Era, Epoch, Period

    • B.

      Period, Epoch, Era, Eon

    • C.

      Eon, Era, Period, Epoch

    • D.

      Era, Epoch, Eon, Period

    Correct Answer
    C. Eon, Era, Period, Epoch
    Explanation
    The geologic time scale is a system used to organize and categorize Earth's history. It is divided into four main groups: Eon, Era, Period, and Epoch. These divisions are arranged in a hierarchical order, with the largest unit being the Eon, followed by the Era, then the Period, and finally the Epoch. This sequence allows scientists to study and understand the vast expanse of time that has shaped the Earth and its geological features.

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  • 8. 

    Which is the oldest fossils found?

    • A.

      Algae

    • B.

      Dinosaurs

    • C.

      Bacteria

    • D.

      Trilobites

    Correct Answer
    C. Bacteria
    Explanation
    Bacteria is the correct answer because they are the oldest known fossils, dating back approximately 3.5 billion years. These ancient bacteria are preserved in rock formations and provide evidence of early life on Earth. Fossils of algae, dinosaurs, and trilobites are also significant in their own right, but they are not as old as the bacterial fossils.

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  • 9. 

    How old is our Earth?

    • A.

      46 million years old

    • B.

      4.6 million years old

    • C.

      4.6 billion years old

    • D.

      460 million years old

    Correct Answer
    C. 4.6 billion years old
    Explanation
    The correct answer is 4.6 billion years old. This is based on scientific evidence and research, including radiometric dating of rocks and minerals, which indicate that the Earth formed around 4.6 billion years ago. This age is also consistent with the age of the oldest known rocks on Earth.

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  • 10. 

    When did Mammals evolve? 

    • A.

      Paleozoic Era

    • B.

      Mesozoic Era

    • C.

      Cenozoic Era

    • D.

      Precambian Time

    Correct Answer
    B. Mesozoic Era
    Explanation
    Mammals evolved during the Mesozoic Era. This era, also known as the Age of Reptiles, lasted from approximately 252 million years ago to 66 million years ago. It is during this time that dinosaurs were dominant, but mammals were also evolving and diversifying. The Mesozoic Era is significant for the evolution of mammals because it saw the emergence of the first true mammals, which eventually gave rise to the diverse mammalian species we see today.

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  • 11. 

    Which time division did Jurassic belong to?

    • A.

      Eon

    • B.

      Era

    • C.

      Period

    • D.

      Epoch

    Correct Answer
    C. Period
    Explanation
    The Jurassic period is a geologic period that occurred during the Mesozoic era. It is known for being the time when dinosaurs were dominant on Earth. The period is characterized by the presence of iconic dinosaur species such as the Brachiosaurus and the Stegosaurus. Therefore, the correct answer is "Period."

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  • 12. 

    Trilobites were invertebrates that could be first found

    • A.

      3 million years ago

    • B.

      20 million years ago

    • C.

      350 million years ago

    • D.

      530 million years ago

    Correct Answer
    D. 530 million years ago
    Explanation
    Trilobites were invertebrates that first appeared 530 million years ago. This is supported by fossil records, which show that trilobites were abundant during the Cambrian period, which occurred around 530 million years ago. Trilobites were diverse and widespread during this time, and they played an important role in marine ecosystems. Their fossils provide valuable information about the early evolution of life on Earth.

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  • 13. 

    Which type of organism could be much better chance to be fossilised?

    • A.

      Mammals

    • B.

      Sharks

    • C.

      Sea shells

    • D.

      Jelly fish

    Correct Answer
    C. Sea shells
    Explanation
    Sea shells have a much better chance of being fossilized compared to other organisms like mammals, sharks, or jellyfish. This is because sea shells are made of hard materials like calcium carbonate, which can withstand the test of time and preserve their structures. In contrast, mammals, sharks, and jellyfish have soft tissues that decompose quickly after death, making it less likely for their remains to be preserved as fossils. Sea shells, on the other hand, are often found in sedimentary rock formations, where they can be buried and protected from decay, increasing their chances of becoming fossils.

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  • 14. 

    Fossils are most common in which rock types?

    • A.

      Igneous rocks

    • B.

      Sedimentary rocks

    • C.

      Metamorphic rocks

    • D.

      All of the above rock types

    Correct Answer
    B. Sedimentary rocks
    Explanation
    Fossils are most commonly found in sedimentary rocks because these rocks are formed from the accumulation of sediment, which often includes the remains of plants and animals. Sedimentary rocks are formed in layers over time, and these layers can preserve fossils. Igneous rocks, on the other hand, form from the cooling of magma and do not typically contain fossils. Metamorphic rocks are formed from the transformation of other rock types and may destroy any fossils that were present in the original rock. Therefore, the correct answer is sedimentary rocks.

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  • 15. 

    Which of the following will NOT make a fossil?

    • A.

      Decomposed organic material

    • B.

      Plant impressions

    • C.

      Animal footprints

    • D.

      Animal bones

    Correct Answer
    A. Decomposed organic material
    Explanation
    Decomposed organic material will not make a fossil because fossils are formed when the remains of plants or animals are preserved in sedimentary rock over a long period of time. Decomposed organic material does not have the necessary conditions for preservation, such as being buried quickly and protected from decay. Therefore, it is unlikely to leave behind any traces that can be fossilized.

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  • 16. 

    Human beings evolved during which geological era?

    • A.

      Cenozoic

    • B.

      Mesozoic

    • C.

      Paleozoic

    • D.

      Precambian

    Correct Answer
    A. Cenozoic
    Explanation
    The correct answer is Cenozoic. The Cenozoic era is the most recent geological era, also known as the "Age of Mammals." It began approximately 66 million years ago and continues to the present day. This era is characterized by the diversification and dominance of mammals, including the evolution of humans. The other options, Mesozoic, Paleozoic, and Precambrian, are all earlier geological eras in which human beings did not exist.

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  • 17. 

    The boundaries between ______________ seem to coincide with major changes in the life forms present on Earth.

    • A.

      Precambrian

    • B.

      Periods

    • C.

      Eras

    • D.

      Epochs

    Correct Answer
    C. Eras
    Explanation
    The boundaries between Eras seem to coincide with major changes in the life forms present on Earth. This suggests that the divisions of time known as Eras are significant in terms of the evolution and development of life on our planet. The major changes in life forms that occur at these boundaries likely reflect significant shifts in environmental conditions or evolutionary processes, making the concept of Eras a useful framework for understanding the history of life on Earth.

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  • 18. 

    When was the first life appeared on Earth?

    • A.

      4.6 billion years ago

    • B.

      3.8 billion years ago

    • C.

      320 million years ago

    • D.

      120 million years ago

    Correct Answer
    B. 3.8 billion years ago
    Explanation
    The first life appeared on Earth approximately 3.8 billion years ago. This is supported by scientific evidence such as the discovery of fossilized microorganisms in ancient rocks. These microorganisms, known as stromatolites, provide evidence of early life forms on Earth. Additionally, the study of ancient DNA and the comparison of genetic sequences suggest that life originated around this time.

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  • 19. 

    Which type of invertebrate group did the Trilobites belong to?

    • A.

      Worms

    • B.

      Molluscs

    • C.

      Jelly fish

    • D.

      Arthropods

    Correct Answer
    D. Arthropods
    Explanation
    Trilobites belonged to the arthropod group. This is because trilobites have characteristics that are typical of arthropods, such as a segmented body, jointed appendages, and an exoskeleton. Arthropods include insects, spiders, crustaceans, and other related organisms, and trilobites are one of the earliest known groups of arthropods that lived from the Cambrian to the Permian period.

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  • Mar 22, 2023
    Quiz Edited by
    ProProfs Editorial Team
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    Quiz Created by
    Edward Hung
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