Discover Life Through the Ages. A Carnegie Activity Book by Laura C. Beattie

By Laura C. Beattie

An engrossing mixture of video games, brainteasers, and tales makes studying the fundamentals of typical technology and background fun.

Ages 8-12

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Early plants such as Psilophyton and Rhynia developed simple short stems (a few inches high) for support. Underground parts of the stems could reach water and help anchor the plants in the soil. There were no leaves, but the stems were green and made food from the sun’s energy. The stems were covered with waxy layers to prevent them from drying. Among the first animals known to have crawled out onto the swampy land and among its expanding plant cover were scorpions and millipedes (“thousand leggers”).

On the right are slabs of rocks with various ammonoids and other fossils in them. Decide what layer of rock each slab came from and write the correct letters in the boxes in the slabs. ) By Land, Sea, and Air As ammonoids filled the seas, a new kind of animal evolved on land—reptiles. Reptiles were better adapted to land than amphibians because they could live their entire lives without returning to the water. Reptiles had tough scaly skin that could survive the sun’s rays better than the moist skin of amphibians.

About 500 million years ago the first vertebrates appeared. Vertebrates are animals with inside support from a jointed backbone. They can grow and move more easily than animals covered with an exoskeleton. The first vertebrates were jawless fish covered with bony armor plates. Their mouths were open holes for sucking up bits of food. After about 50 million years, fish evolved jaws and swam about chasing other animals for food. Fish continued to change, becoming more streamlined and developing fins and tails shaped for better movement.

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