Paleozoic Era 5: Carboniferous Period – Amphibians Rule
- Forests and swamps cover the land.
- Four-legged vertebrate animals (tetrapods) diversify, developing hands and feet.
- Amphibians dominate, butneed to return to water to lay shell-less eggs.
- Reptiles emerge. Their shell-covered eggs mean that they can survive in dry areas of land inaccessible to amphibians.
- The first insects evolve wings and start to fly, including giant dragonflies.
Facts, Debates & Trivia
- Carboniferous means coal-bearing, as many coal beds around the world are formed during this period.
- Tilted layers of sandstone and shale found in north Cornwall, near Bude, are formed in the Carboniferous Period.
- Temperatures in the early Carboniferous are warm.
- The boom in plant-life consumes carbon dioxide and temperatures fall in the late Carboniferous, leading to glacial ages.
358.9 – 298.9 million years ago
(60 million years)
Where have you reached on the trail?