358.2-299 mya

Carboniferous Period

The term "Carboniferous" comes from England, in reference to the rich deposits of coal that occur there. The Carboniferous Period was from 358.2-299 mya during the Paleozoic Era and Phanerozoic Eon. Carboniferous means "coal-bearing." The Carboniferous Period is known as the "Time When Insects Ruled."

Life on land in the Carboniferous Period.

There were lots of plants like Sigillaria and Lepidodendron. There were also lots of giant insects like Meganeura, Arthropleura, and Megarachne. There were also large crocodile-like reptiles like the Proterogyrinus. Trilobites and Tetrapods ruled the Carboniferous Period.

Oceans of the Carboniferous Period

There were 3 large oceans in the Early Carboniferous Period at about 356 mya. The largest being the Panthalassic in the northern hemisphere. The others are Rheic and Paleo-Tethys Oceans. The Rheic Ocean was located in the southern hemisphere. The Paleo-Tethys Ocean was located between the continents. At about 306 mya during the Late Carboniferous Period the Panthalassic and Rheic Oceans combine and make the Panthalassic Ocean larger. There were large sharks that patrolled these oceans. The most commonly talked about is Edestus. Edestus was about the size of a tiger shark.

Continents of the Carboniferous Period

The continents that were in the Carboniferous Period were Pangea, Gondwana, Siberia, Kazakhstania, North China, and South China. Pangea was the most centralized of the continents and was also the second largest. Gondwana was in the southern hemisphere and was the largest of the continents. Siberia and Kazakhstania were located in the northern hemisphere. North and South China were located to the east of Pangea.
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All throughout the Carboniferous Period there were swamps everywhere. The swamps were very low in elevation. There were a couple of mountains in Pangea, Siberia, and western Gondwana.

Atmosphere in the Carboniferous Period

Oxygen in the early Carboniferous Period was about 20 percent. By the end of of the Carboniferous Period the oxygen levels increase by 15 percent. The Carboniferous Period had a lot of oxygen and that is what made the insects become the rulers of the land.

Climate during the Carboniferus Period

The Carboniferous Period was a little warmer than it is today. Glaciers had just started freezing at the poles but by the end of the Carboniferous Period the glaciers had started to melt and go away.
The Carboniferous Period - Earth Science Project