Cosmic Calendar: The first flowers and the end of the dinosaurs

December 28th on the Cosmic Calendar:  The first flowers appear, and the meteor that wipes out the dinosaurs hits in the Gulf of Mexico just off the Yucatan causing the KT event.

Four days left in the Cosmic Year — just four days — and only now do we see flowers.  Plants had been living on land for 300 million years before any of them flowered.  I’d kind of always assumed that flowers had been around pretty much as long as plants had been on land, but this is not the case.  That is how mind blowingly long the 13.75 billion year history of the universe is.

So if you ever see a dinosaur movie with flowers in the background, I’d say you’re 95% safe calling bullshit on it.

Archaefructus liaoningensis, the earliest known flowering plant. This is as floral and flowery as my blog is likely to ever get.

Say goodbye to T-Rex and Diplodicus

You may remember Cosmos, the 1980 PBS series by Carl Sagan. Maybe you also recall Sagan’s “Cosmic Calendar” from the series, where in order to put the immensely vast history of the universe into a comprehensible scale, he mapped it onto a calendar year. In other words, if the entire history of the universe were one year, with the big bang in the first second of midnight on January first, and the present day on the last second of December 31st, New Year’s Eve. A project of mine this year has been to note the major events in the Cosmic Calendar, on the real calendar, on this blog!

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