Paleozoic Earth ] Back | Next >

Location
 North America
 300 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 swamp with Eryops featuring Sigillaria, Lepidodendron, and a legless Ophiderpeton; lycopsids; club-mosses; quillworts - Natural History Illustration Geologic Time Scale

 Era: Paleozoic
  Period: Carboniferous*
   Epoch: Late
    Age: Gzhelian

     
 

Carboniferous swamp with Eryops

Resembling modern crocodiles, two giant prehistoric amphibians from the genus Eryops dominate a Carboniferous swamp 300 million years ago in what is today North America. At six feet long and 200 pounds, Eryops was one of the largest predators of its time. It probably spent most of its time in the water, and like modern crocodiles probably fed on fish and other swimming vertebrates.

Also in this image, on the lower right is a snake-like, legless amphibian from the genus Ophiderpeton.  Flying overhead and resembling a giant dragonfly is a prehistoric insect from the genus Meganeura. The tree-like plants making up the surrounding forest include the species Sigillaria scutellata and Lepidodendron aculeatum. The low ground cover includes various primitive ferns and mosses.

*AKA Carboniferous/ Pennsylvanian

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Copyright Walter B. Myers. All rights reserved.

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