The Paleozoic Era

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by jreategui2016
Last updated 5 years ago

Earth Sciences

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The Paleozoic Era


Permian Period

Divided in 5 Periods, the Paleozoic Era lasted from 542 to 251 million years B.C.E. Here is an overview of the last two periods, the Carboniferous and Permian.

The Paleozoic Era

Climate: Early part is mostly warm. Afterwards, a cooling ensued due to Gondwana's southward movement. Thus the equatorial regions remained warm, but the poles had an ice age that lasted for million years.

Life in the Carboniferous Period

Inhabitants during and Before:

Species that became extinct: Heavily armored fish from the Devonian Period were replaced with more modern - looking fish.Species that arose: Freshwater clams, land snails appeared and insects with wings that can't fold back, (these insects, and millipedes, scorpions, and spiders became important) predators with long snouts, short sprawling limbs and flattened heads, anthracosaurs (reptile-like amphibians), and finally diapsids which were divided into two groups(the marine reptiles, lizards, and snakes, and the archosaurs — crocodiles, dinosaurs, and birds).

Continental Positioning

Origin of Name: Comes from England, in reference to the rich deposits of coal that occur there

Duration: 359.2 to 299 million years ago

Carboniferous Period

Barriers from other Periods: Separated from the Devonian Period by the appearance of the conodont(fossils that resemble the teeth or jaws of primitive eel- or hagfish-like fish). Separated from Permian by the appearance of the fusulinid foram(an order within the Foraminifera in which the shells are composed of packed, secreted calcite)

Duration: 299 to 251 million years ago

Origin of Name: from the name of the Russian province Perm, from the extensive development of such strata there.

Continental Positioning

The Permian Extinction:estimated to have wiped out more than 90 percent of all marine species and 70 percent of land animals.Some scientists think a series of volcanic eruptions pumped so much debris into the atmosphere that the sun was blocked out, causing a significant drop in temperature and preventing plant photosynthesis, which in turn caused food chains to collapse.Global climate change, citing evidence for a period of sudden warming and cooling. These rapid extremes of conditions may have meant species were unable to adjust. Other theories include a catastrophic release of methane gas stored under the seabed, triggered by earthquakes or global warming, or a massive asteroid impact. The Permian Extinction ended the Permian Period and the Paleozoic Era.


Early reptiles moved in where amphibians previously couldn’t. Mammal-like reptiles known as therapsids became the dominant land animals of the late Permian (these evolved into species ranging from dinosaur-like flesh-eaters to plodding herbivores, smaller varieties emerged and from these mammals would arise) Bony fishes with fan-shaped fins and thick, heavy scales arose. There were large reef communities that harbored squidlike creatures. Ammonoids, with their tightly coiled, spiral shells were also present.

Climate:The south was cold and arid, with much of the region frozen under ice caps. Northern areas suffered increasingly from intense heat and great seasonal fluctuations between wet and dry conditions.
















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