Cambrian (542-488 Ma)

period of the Paleozoic Era, marked by great development of life forms in the oceans (especially invertebrates with shells and carapace). The fragmentation of an ancient continent (Pannotia) occurred during this period, originating Paleolaurentia, Siberia and Baltica. In between those continents a new ocean appeared and expanded (the Iapetus Ocean).

Carbónico (359-299 Ma)

period of the Paleozoic Era, characterized by the onset of reptiles and the growth of large forests.

Carving tool

stone instrument produced from a flake with a chisel-like working area.

Cenozoic Era or Cenozoic (65 Ma-Present)

meaning 'new life'. It is one of the three major geologic Eras, comprising the Paleogene, Neogene and Quaternary periods. It is marked by great development of mammals and plants and the appearance of man. During this Era, the land and the sea acquired their present form. The opening of the North Atlantic marks the paleogeography of the Era. There were several episodes of mountain formation (for instance, the Andean chain, Betic chain, Alps, Himalayas).


invertebrate animals of the mollusc class. They appeared about 500 Ma in the Upper Cambrian. Living in a marine habitat, with head with eyes and foot divided into tentacles and may or may not have a skeleton (shell). Examples are the octopus, the squid, and cuttlefish.

Coral reef buildings

massive or layered structure, formed by the accumulation of the calcareous skeletons of coral polyps (Cnidarians). It accumulates over thousands of years and generations. It occurs in warm, well oxygenated and shallow waters with good lighting.


a rock from which fragments (flakes, blades or bladelets) are obtained for the purpose of manufacturing specific tools by retouch.



the European programme CORINE (Coordination of Information on the Environment), created in 1985, aims, among other objectives, to gather information on the environment and natural resources in Europe, and encourage the various policies (economic, agricultural, transport, energy, social ...) to take into consideration the protection of those values. Biotopes are one of the various environment components studied. Therefore, the Biotopes Project (which belongs to the CORINE Programme) identifies and characterizes the most important habitats or sites of particular interest to the conservation of nature and natural resources in the European Union.

Cretaceous (145-65 Ma)

last Period of the Mesozoic Era, marked by the appearance of new species, a large diversity of mammals and, in the end, by the mass extinction of life forms. The present continents began to prefigure. In the beginning, the Indian Ocean is formed due to the separation of India and Madagascar from the Antarctic Ocean and from the western part of the Australia. At the end of the Cretaceous, Europe moves towards Africa and a long cycle of formation of mountain ranges (Alpine orogeny) begins. In Central Portugal, the coral-reef limestones of this Era bear good quality flint nodules used for the fabric of instrument during the whole of Prehistory.



corresponds to the most external part of the lithosphere. Its thickness varies from about 5 km to 80 km. It can be continental or oceanic.

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