Paleozoic Earth ] Back | Next >

Location
 Worldwide
 365 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 - Ichthyostega and Rhacophyton on a Late Devonian floodplain featuring Archaeopteris and Lycopsids; Famennian stage; missing link; tetrapod; paleontology; paleobiology; paleobotany - Natural History Illustration Geologic Time Scale

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

     
 

Ichthyostega and Rhacophyton

A three-foot-long Late Devonian tetrapod of the genus Ichthyostega emerges from waters of a floodplain 365 million years ago in what is today the Canadian Arctic. On the left is a four-foot-tall Rhacophyton ceratangium, a species of unclassified ancient shrub that is thought to be one of the earliest ferns. On the horizon are more Rhacophyton, along with towering tree-like plants with fern-like leaves of the genus Archaeopteris, and Lycopsids in various stages of growth.

Ichthyostega was one of the earliest tetrapods, a descendent of lobe-finned fishes and ancestor of amphibians. Ichthyostega had lungs and seven-toed limbs that allowed it to move about the shallow waters and shores of swamps and floodplains. It was among the first terrestrial vertebrates.

 

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Copyright Walter B. Myers. All rights reserved.

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