Exhibition Hall 2

History of earth and life

The Earth was formed approximately 4.6 billion years ago, and life appeared on the Earth about 3.8 billion years ago. Over the long history of our planet, it has undergone many great changes, including continental drifts and changes in sea level, and our Mother Earth itself has also changed from the various developments. Life has evolved in close relationship with the Earth's changes, and over this long period, a vast array of species have thrived as well as gone extinct. This was then followed by the age of humans.
Let's start with the formation of the Osaka plain and follow the history of the Japanese archipelago, Mother Earth, and the life that evolved as we go back in time.

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11 History of Osaka Plain

The nature of Osaka that we currently live in has been created over the course of Earth's long history which is estimated to be about 4.6 billion years. First, we'd like to focus on a familiar theme, the Osaka Plain, since about 20,000 years ago.

12 The Great Ice Age

During the long history of the earth, it encountered a number of glacial eras wherein the whole earth became cold. The glacial era called the Quaternary Pleistocene started about 2.6 million years ago in the Cainozoic in which mammals continued to flourish and human beings were born and developed.

13 The Quaternary Period

The Quaternary is the era when humans developed and is also refered to as the "epoc of man". Beginning about 2.6 million years ago, it is the present era, but considering the history of the earth of 4.6 billion years it is just a momentary event. It is an important period for us.

14 The Osaka Group

The hills of the Osaka Plain are made up of stratums called the Osaka Layer Group and are also widely distributed in the underground of the Osaka Plain. Not only is the Osaka Stratum deeply connected with our lives, but since it has been accumulated over a long period of more than 3 million years from the late period of the Neocene Pleiocene to the middle period of the Quaternary Pleistocene, it tells the history of climate and living things in the stratum.

15 The age of mammals

The Cenozoic Paleogene and Neocene are are also referred to as the "era of mammals". It is the era that mammals achived great developments compared to the Mesozoic Triassic where mammals appeared, but remained inconspicuous, hidden by the shadows of dinosaurs.

16 Late Cretaceous fossils from the Izumi Mountains of Osaka

The Izumi Mountains ranging from east to west along the border between Osaka and Wakayama Prefectures are made from thick strata that are repeatedly overlapped with conglomerate, sandstone and mudstone. From this stratum called the Izumi Layer Group, fossils such as ammonite and shellfish from the end of the Mesozoic Cretaceous (about 70 million years ago) have been found.

17 The age of dinosaurs and ammonites

The Mesozoic era is the era of "dinosaurs and ammonites", and reptiles including dinosaurs prospered on land while ammonites prospered in the sea. In the plant world it is refered to as "the era of gymnosperms", thereafter in the Mesozoic Cretaceous angiosperms appeared.

18 Aspects of the Palaeozoic sea and forest

The great forest appeared for the first time on the earth in the Paleozoic Carboniferous. This forest consisted of ferns, gymnosperms, and angiosperms blooming beautiful flowers that had not yet appeared on Earth. Also, at the beginning of the Paleozoic, the number and types of creatures living in the sea increased dramatically, and most vertebrate animals appeared.

Fossils from the upper Cretaceous Izumi Group

From the Izumi Mountain Range in southern Osaka to Matsuyama in Shikoku, an elongated stratum called Izumi Group covers 300 km from east to west. Fossils of organisms which used to live there in the end of the Cretaceous Era such as ammonites, bivalves, snails, sea urchins, crabs, shark's teeth, Archeozostera sp. (trace fossil) are found there.

Variety of Minerals

The definition of mineral is "inorganic and solid substance which is mostly uniform physically and chemically and stable in property among natural substances", approximately 4 thousand kinds are known to date on the Earth. Although, minerals have an image of being "hard", actually metallic products that are indispensable in your daily life are made of minerals which contains metallic elements such as iron or copper. Moreover, jewels that we wear as accessories are mostly made from beautiful minerals. This shows that minerals are deeply involved in our life.