Paleozoic Earth ] Back | Next >

Location
 Worldwide
 380 million years ago

Mean atmospheric O2
 75% of modern level

Mean atmospheric CO2
 8x pre-industrial level

Mean temperature
 6C above modern level

 

Paleozoic Earth - A 12-inch-long armored Bothropelpis bottom feeder; benthic freshwater detrivore; antiarch placoderm - Natural History Illustration Geologic Time Scale

 Era: Paleozoic
  Period: Devonian
   Epoch: Late
    Age: Frasnian

     
 

Bothriolepis underwater

A 12-inch-long armored antiarch placoderm from the genus Bothriolepis glides along the bottom of a flooded plain 380 million years ago during the Late Devonian. Plant life includes the bases of giant Archaeopteris ferns, trunks of smaller Lycopods, and rope-like horsetails. Leaf-like filter feeders are also included, as well as ambiguous caterpillar-like plants, though it's not known if either were extant at this time.

With its heavy armor and large mouth, Bothriolepis is believed to have been a bottom feeder, living off of decomposing organic matter that settled on the foundations of its habitats. Like modern day salmon, Bothriolepis may have spent most of its life in saltwater, returning to freshwater only to breed.

 

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Copyright Walter B. Myers. All rights reserved.

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