Anatomically modern humans first appear in the fossil record in Africa about 195,000 years ago, and studies of molecular biology give evidence that the approximate time of divergence from the common ancestor of all modern human populations was 200,000 years ago.
The tuatara is a reptile endemic to New Zealand which, though it resembles most lizards, is actually part of a distinct lineage, order Sphenodontia. The two species of tuatara are the only surviving members of its order, which flourished around 200 million years ago
The order Testudines includes both extant (living) and extinct species. The earliest known turtles date from 215 million years ago, making turtles one of the oldest reptile groups and a more ancient group than lizards, snakes and crocodiles.
The gladiators initially were described from old museum specimens that originally were found in Namibia (Mantophasma zephyrum) and Tanzania (M. subsolanum), and from a 45-million-year-old specimen of Baltic amber (Raptophasma kerneggeri).
Live specimens were found in Namibia by an international expedition in early 2002
The Koyamaki (Sciadopitys verticillata), or Japanese Umbrella-pine, is a unique conifer endemic to Japan. It is the sole member of the family Sciadopityaceae and genus Sciadopitys, a living fossil with no close relatives, and known in the fossil record for about 230 million years.
Equisetum is a "living fossil", as it is the only living genus of the entire class Equisetopsida, which for over one hundred million years was much more diverse and dominated the understory of late Paleozoic forests.
Nevertheless, the frilled shark belongs to one of the oldest still-extant shark lineages, dating back to at least the Late Cretaceous (c. 95 Ma) and possibly to the Late Jurassic (c. 150 Ma). Because of its ancient ancestry and "primitive" characteristics, it has been described as a "living fossil".
Fossil records of this group date back 380 million years, around the time when the higher vertebrate classes were beginning to evolve. Fossils of lungfish almost identical to this species have been uncovered in northern New South Wales, indicating that Neoceratodus has remained virtually unchanged for well over 100 million years, making it a living fossil and one of the oldest living vertebrate genera on the planet.
It is one of six extant representatives of the ancient air-breathing Dipnoi (lungfishes) that flourished during the Devonian period (c. 413-365 million years ago) and is the most primitive surviving member of this lineage.
The coelacanth has been nicknamed a ‚Äúliving fossil‚ÄĚ, because it originally was known only through fossils, long before the first discovery of a live specimen. The coelacanth is thought to have evolved into roughly its current form approximately 400 million years ago.