THE ORDER OF APPEARANCE OF FOSSIL ORGANISMS    

Those who oppose evolution typically argue that all modern types (or “kinds”) of organisms appeared within a week of each other and within a week of the appearance of the solar system and that most of the fossil organisms became extinct at the same time, in one single cataclysmic flood.  The fossil record simply doesn’t support this.  In the following charts, I have selected diversity of modern groups of organisms and indicate which families of this group (and lately those who oppose evolution have argued that “kind” is roughly equivalent to the taxon family) are known only from a specific geologic period.  If the creationist model were correct, all families should appear together in the fist week of life on earth and the fossil families should all become extinct together.  Does the appearance of different groups of organisms in the fossil record support this? (Charts from data in Benton, 1993)

 

 

ALGAE

                                                                                                             

 

 

ERA

 

PERIOD

EXAMPLES OF FAMILIES WHICH ARE KNOWN ONLY FROM CERTAIN GEOLOGIC PERIODS (and often only a fraction of the indicated period)

 

 

CENOZOIC

 

QUATERNARY

 

 

 

 

TERTIARY

Halimedaceae, Coccolithaceae, Vaucheriaceae, Helicosphaeraceae, Noelaerhabdaceae, Pontosphaeraceae (all through present); Fasciculithaceae, Heliolithaceae, Lithostromatioaceae, Spenolithaceae, Triquetrorhabdulaceae (Tertiary only)

 

 

MESOZOIC

 

CRETACEOUS

Arkhangelskiellaceae, Eiffellithaceae, Prediscosphaeraceae

 

 

JURASSIC

 

Calyculaceae

 

 

TRIASSIC

 

 

 

 

PALEOZOIC

 

PERMIAN

 

 

 

 

CARBONIFEROUS

 

Paleocharaceae

 

 

DEVONIAN

 

Chovanellaceae, Pinnoputamenaceae, Trochiliscaceae

 

 

SILURAN

 

 

 

 

ORDOVICIAN

Moniliporellaceae (through Siluran)

 

 

CAMBRIAN

 

 

 

PRECAMBRIAN

 

PROTEROZOIC

 

ARCHEOZOIC

 

 


PROTOZOA

 

 

ERA

 

PERIOD

EXAMPLES OF FAMILIES WHICH ARE KNOWN ONLY FROM CERTAIN GEOLOGIC PERIODS (and often only a fraction of the indicated period)

 

 

CENOZOIC

 

QUATERNARY

 

Gromiidae, Arcellidae, Pryganellidae

 

 

TERTIARY

Austrurotrillinidae

 

 

MESOZOIC

 

CRETACEOUS

Silicotubidae, Cribratinidae

 

 

JURASSIC

Lituoliporidae, Biokovinidae

 

 

TRIASSIC

 

Hirsutospirellidae, Siphonoferidae

 

 

PALEOZOIC

 

PERMIAN

 

Pachyphloiidae, Abadehellidae

 

 

CARBONIFEROUS

 

Pseudolituotubidae, Archaediscidae

 

 

DEVONIAN

 

Marginaridae, Auroriidae

 

 

SILURAN

 

Ceratoikiscidae

 

 

ORDOVICIAN

Anakrusidae

 

 

CAMBRIAN

 

 

 

PRECAMBRIAN

 

PROTEROZOIC

 

ARCHEOZOIC

 

 


     Flowering plants today make up more than 95% of the number of species of plants and well over 99% of the individuals.  The flowering plants which compose most of the temperate forests, tropical forests, grasslands, and savannahs cover most of the earth’s surface.  Those who oppose evolution claim that flowering plants have existed since the first week of life on earth (and that all modern “kinds” are even older than the sun).  Is there any support for this?  Do you think the fossils of such a significant group would have been found by now had they existed?


SPONGES

 

 

ERA

 

PERIOD

EXAMPLES OF FAMILIES WHICH ARE KNOWN ONLY FROM CERTAIN GEOLOGIC PERIODS (and often only a fraction of the indicated period)

 

 

CENOZOIC

 

QUATERNARY

 

 

 

 

TERTIARY

 

 

 

MESOZOIC

 

CRETACEOUS

Acrochordonidae, Spinocladiidae

 

 

JURASSIC

Protetraclistidae, Stauractinellidae

 

 

TRIASSIC

 

Keriogastrospongiidae

 

 

PALEOZOIC

 

PERMIAN

 

Anthracosyconidae, Stromatidiidae

 

 

CARBONIFEROUS

 

Archaeodorydermatidae, Favosichaetetidae

 

 

DEVONIAN

 

Aglithodictyidae, Stachyoditidae

 

 

SILURAN

 

Malumispongiidae, Lumectospongiidae

 

 

ORDOVICIAN

Pattersoniidae, Hydnodictyidae

 

 

CAMBRIAN

Vauxiidae, Hazeliidae (plus at least 96 additional families)

 

 

PRECAMBRIAN

 

PROTEROZOIC                        

 

ARCHEOZOIC

 

 


COELENTERATES

 

 

ERA

 

PERIOD

EXAMPLES OF FAMILIES WHICH ARE KNOWN ONLY FROM CERTAIN GEOLOGIC PERIODS (and often only a fraction of the indicated period)

 

 

CENOZOIC

 

QUATERNARY

 

 

 

 

TERTIARY

Merulinidae, Pectiniidae (to present)

 

 

MESOZOIC

 

CRETACEOUS

 

 

 

JURASSIC

Eulithotidae, Rhizostomatidiae

 

 

TRIASSIC

 

Conulariopsidae, Heterastridiidae

 

 

PALEOZOIC

 

PERMIAN

 

Pseudofavositidae, Aulohelliidae

 

 

CARBONIFEROUS

 

Vaughaniidae, Kiziliidae

 

 

DEVONIAN

 

Kozlowskiocystidae, Periphaceloporidae

 

 

SILURAN

 

Syringolitidae, Ditoecholasmatidae

 

 

ORDOVICIAN

Rhabdohydridae, Lamottidae

 

 

CAMBRIAN

Gastroconidae, Hydroconidae

 

 

PRECAMBRIAN

 

PROTEROZOIC                            --Erniettidae, Pteridiniidae (plus at least 12                                      

                                                      additional families)

 

ARCHEOZOIC

 

 


 

MOLLUSKS

 

 

ERA

 

PERIOD

EXAMPLES OF FAMILIES WHICH ARE KNOWN ONLY FROM CERTAIN GEOLOGIC PERIODS (and often only a fraction of the indicated period)

 

 

CENOZOIC

 

QUATERNARY

 

Ceresidae, Cingulopsidae

 

 

TERTIARY

Pareoridae, Thersiteidae

 

 

MESOZOIC

 

CRETACEOUS

Weeksiidae, Acteonllidae

 

 

JURASSIC

Brachytremidae, Eustomidae

 

 

TRIASSIC

 

Kittlidiscidae, Temnotropidae

 

 

PALEOZOIC

 

PERMIAN

 

Ischnoptygmidae, Permoceratidae

 

 

CARBONIFEROUS

 

Glyptochitonidae, Rhaphischismatidae

 

 

DEVONIAN

 

Omphalocirridae, Catantostomatidae

 

 

SILURAN

 

Archaeopragidae, Humeoceratidae

 

 

ORDOVICIAN

Septemchitonidae, Llandeilochitonidae

 

 

CAMBRIAN

Stenothecidae, Yochelcionellidae

 

 

PRECAMBRIAN

 

PROTEROZOIC

 

ARCHEOZOIC

 

 

Of the ammonoids, 50 families are known from the Carboniferous through the Triassic, 76 families are known from the Triassic only, and 94 families are known from the Jurassic and Cretaceous.

ARTHROPODS

 

 

ERA

 

PERIOD

EXAMPLES OF FAMILIES WHICH ARE KNOWN ONLY FROM CERTAIN GEOLOGIC PERIODS (and often only a fraction of the indicated period)

 

 

CENOZOIC

 

QUATERNARY

 

Propalticidae (from Pliocene)

 

 

TERTIARY

Ocelliidae, Sieblosiidae

 

 

MESOZOIC

 

CRETACEOUS

Protentomobryidae, Pseudomacromiidae

 

 

JURASSIC

Aenigmephemeridae, Liassophlebiidae

 

 

TRIASSIC

 

Austrolimulidae, Heterolimulidae

 

 

PALEOZOIC

 

PERMIAN

 

Sinaglaspidae, Limnocytheridae

 

 

CARBONIFEROUS

 

Liomesaspidae, Moravuridae

 

 

DEVONIAN

 

Palaeoisopodiae, Palaeopantopodidae

 

 

SILURAN

 

Bunonidae, Pseudoniscidae

 

 

ORDOVICIAN

Phillipsinellidae, Opipeuteridae

 

 

CAMBRIAN

Olenellidae, Holmiidae

 

 

PRECAMBRIAN

 

PROTEROZOIC

 

ARCHEOZOIC

 

 


 

JAWLESS FISH

 

 

ERA

 

PERIOD

EXAMPLES OF FAMILIES WHICH ARE KNOWN ONLY FROM CERTAIN GEOLOGIC PERIODS (and often only a fraction of the indicated period)

 

 

CENOZOIC

 

QUATERNARY

 

 

 

 

TERTIARY

 

 

 

MESOZOIC

 

CRETACEOUS

 

 

 

JURASSIC

 

 

 

TRIASSIC

 

 

 

 

PALEOZOIC

 

PERMIAN

 

 

 

 

CARBONIFEROUS

 

 

 

 

DEVONIAN

 

Pycnosteidae, Psammolepididae

 

 

SILURAN

 

Aseraspididae, Lepidaspididae

 

 

ORDOVICIAN

Aranaspididae, Eriptychiidae

 

 

CAMBRIAN

 

 

 

PRECAMBRIAN

 

PROTEROZOIC

 

ARCHEOZOIC

 

 


 

PLACODERMS

 

 

ERA

 

PERIOD

EXAMPLES OF FAMILIES WHICH ARE KNOWN ONLY FROM CERTAIN GEOLOGIC PERIODS (and often only a fraction of the indicated period)

 

 

CENOZOIC

 

QUATERNARY

 

 

 

 

TERTIARY

 

 

 

MESOZOIC

 

CRETACEOUS

 

 

 

JURASSIC

 

 

 

TRIASSIC

 

 

 

 

PALEOZOIC

 

PERMIAN

 

 

 

 

CARBONIFEROUS

 

 

 

 

DEVONIAN

 

49 families known only from Devonian

 

 

SILURAN

 

 

 

 

ORDOVICIAN

 

 

 

CAMBRIAN

 

 

 

PRECAMBRIAN

 

PROTEROZOIC

 

ARCHEOZOIC

 

 


CARTILAGINOUS FISH

 

 

ERA

 

PERIOD

EXAMPLES OF FAMILIES WHICH ARE KNOWN ONLY FROM CERTAIN GEOLOGIC PERIODS (and often only a fraction of the indicated period)

 

 

CENOZOIC

 

QUATERNARY

 

Potamotrygonidae

 

 

TERTIARY

Otodontidae

 

 

MESOZOIC

 

CRETACEOUS

Ptychodontidae, Cyclobatidae

 

 

JURASSIC

Squalorajidae

 

 

TRIASSIC

 

Steinbachodontidae, Pseudodalatiidae

 

 

PALEOZOIC

 

PERMIAN

 

 

 

 

CARBONIFEROUS

 

Bandringidae, Desmiodontidae

 

 

DEVONIAN

 

Cladoselachidae, Coronodontidae

 

 

SILURAN

 

 

 

 

ORDOVICIAN

 

 

 

CAMBRIAN

 

 

 

PRECAMBRIAN

 

PROTEROZOIC

 

ARCHEOZOIC

 

 


BASAL ACTINOPTERYGIANS

 

 

ERA

 

PERIOD

EXAMPLES OF FAMILIES WHICH ARE KNOWN ONLY FROM CERTAIN GEOLOGIC PERIODS (and often only a fraction of the indicated period)

 

 

CENOZOIC

 

QUATERNARY

 

 

 

 

TERTIARY

 

 

 

MESOZOIC

 

CRETACEOUS

Asarotidae, Coccodontidae

 

 

JURASSIC

Chondrosteidae, Centrolepididae

 

 

TRIASSIC

 

Cephaloxenidae, Luganoiidae

 

 

PALEOZOIC

 

PERMIAN

 

Aeduelliidae, Dorypteridae

 

 

CARBONIFEROUS

 

Phanerorhynchidae, Dwykiidae

 

 

DEVONIAN

 

Mimiidae, Tegeolepididae

 

 

SILURAN

 

 

 

 

ORDOVICIAN

 

 

 

CAMBRIAN

 

 

 

PRECAMBRIAN

 

PROTEROZOIC

 

ARCHEOZOIC

 

 

Of the teleosts, 2 Mesozoic families are known from the Triassic; 11 families are known from the Jurassic, of which only one has survived to the present; 75 families are known from the Cretaceous of which 24 have survived to the present; and 269 families are known from the Tertiary.  Teleost fish today compose more than 95% of fish species and well over 99% of individual fish.  Those who oppose evolution claim that teleosts have existed since the first week of life on earth.  Is there any support for this?  Do you think the fossils of such a significant group would have been found by now had they existed?

 


AMPHIBIANS

 

 

ERA

 

PERIOD

EXAMPLES OF FAMILIES WHICH ARE KNOWN ONLY FROM CERTAIN GEOLOGIC PERIODS (and often only a fraction of the indicated period)

 

 

CENOZOIC

 

QUATERNARY

 

Rhachophoridae

 

 

TERTIARY

 

 

 

MESOZOIC

 

CRETACEOUS

 

 

 

JURASSIC

Karauridae

 

 

TRIASSIC

 

Sclerothoracidae, Wetlugasauridae

 

 

PALEOZOIC

 

PERMIAN

 

Actinodontidae, Intasuchidae

 

 

CARBONIFEROUS

 

Eoherpetonidae, Proterogyrinidae

 

 

DEVONIAN

 

 

 

 

SILURAN

 

 

 

 

ORDOVICIAN

 

 

 

CAMBRIAN

 

 

 

PRECAMBRIAN

 

PROTEROZOIC

 

ARCHEOZOIC

 

 

Of 14 families of frogs, 3 modern families are known from the Jurassic, 3 modern families are known from the Cretaceous, 7 modern families are known from the Tertiary, and one extinct family survived from the Cretaceous to the Tertiary.  Of the ten families of salamanders, 2 modern families are known from the end of the Cretaceous, 5 modern families are known from the Tertiary, and three families are extinct (two from the Jurassic and one from the Cretaceous).   Thirty one families of amphibians are only known from the Paleozoic and 15 families are only known from the Triassic.

     There are 21 lizard families known.  One modern family is known from the Cretaceous and all other modern families (twelve) are known from the Tertiary.  Four families known from the Jurassic, one family known from the Cretaceous, and three families known from the Tertiary have become extinct.  Three families of modern snakes are known from the Cretaceous, six from the Tertiary, and one from the Quaternary.  Four families known from the Cretaceous and three families known from the Tertiary have become extinct.  Two modern families of crocodilians are known from the Cretaceous and one from the Tertiary.  A number have become extinct (the exact number depends on exactly which groups are included as crocodiles).

   Although birds have existed since the Jurassic, all modern families are known since the Tertiary (with the exception of Gavidae known from the Cretaceous).

     Mammal-like reptiles have existed since the Carboniferous.  Six families are known from the Cretaceous through the Permian, 48 families from the Permian through the Triassic and two from the Triassic through the Jurassic.  None have survived to modern times (except in their descendants, the mammals).  Of 22 families of marsupials, only one (Didelphidae) is known before the Tertiary.  No modern family of placental mammals is known before the Tertiary.