Paleozoic Earth ] Back | Next >

Location
 Worldwide
 350 million years ago

Mean atmospheric O2
 163% of modern level

Mean atmospheric CO2
 3x pre-industrial level

Mean temperature
 Same as modern level

 

Paleozoic Earth - A Carboniferous forest of Midwestern North America 350 million years ago featuring Lepidodendron aculeatum, Sigillaria scutellata, Asteroxylon mackiei, & ferns - Natural History Illustration Geologic Time Scale

 Era: Paleozoic
  Period: Carboniferous*
   Epoch: Early
    Age: Tournaisian

     
 

Carboniferous forest

A Carboniferous forest of Midwestern North America 350 million years ago featuring vascular, arborescent (tree-like) plants of the species Lepidodendron aculeatum (resembling feather dusters on long sticks), spore-bearing, arborescent plants of the species Sigillaria scutellata (resembling toilet bowl brushes), Asteroxylon mackiei (at this scale may be mistaken for grass), and ferns. Some Lepidodendron grew as tall as 150 feet. 

360 million years ago the Earth entered a period known as the Carboniferous, a 60 million year span remarkable for worldwide high temperatures, high humidity, and the emergence of thousands of new terrestrial plant and animal species. Dense forests of arboreal lycopods covered much of the vast continent of Pangaea. This enormous biomass eventually became the source for the great bituminous coal fields of North America, Europe and Asia.

*AKA Carboniferous/ Mississippian

Larger

Copyright Walter B. Myers. All rights reserved.

Terms of use

Home | What's New | The Graphics | Information | Site Map |  ]