We humans have only been around for a tiny fraction of the Earth's 4.6-billion-year history, but we have still managed to build up our knowledge of what happened so long ago.
This Earth timeline highlights some of the important events that have shaped our world. The pages in the timeline contain interesting video clips from BBC television series such as Earth: Power of the Planet, Horizon, How the Earth Made Us, and Bang Goes the Theory.
Another popular way of dividing up the Earth's history is through geological time periods. For example, the period 545-495 million years ago is known as the Cambrian. Visit the BBC Nature site to see these time periods and learn what life was like hundreds of millions of years ago.
Image: The sky glows pink just before sunrise along England's Jurassic Coast in Winspit, Dorset. About 185 million years of Earth's history is recorded in these rocks. (credit: Adam Burton/naturepl.com)
The Earth formed from a vast cloud of gas and dust.
A giant impact may have formed the Moon.
Asteroids and comets peppered the Earth.
Early life affected the geology of our planet.
It is thought the Earth was completely covered in ice.
During the Cambrian, life became more diverse and abundant.
Earth's many life forms are vunerable to its constant changes.
The supercontinent Pangaea formed about 270 million years ago.
We are living during an interglacial period.
Billions of years from now it is predicted the Sun will destroy the Earth.