Plants - with wingspans up to 75 cm. With climate changes...

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Plants Other seed fern groups that characterized the Carboniferous include the medullosans and the cordaitaleans. During the late Carboniferous the voltzialean seed ferns appear. This latter group is considered by paleobotanists to be closest to the gymnosperms. Cycads , a now-minor group of gymnosperms but major components of the world's floras during the Mesozoic, appeared during the Carboniferous. Specimens of Cordaites , the name-bearer for the cordaitaleans, were large trees with strap-shaped, leathery leaves that often had parallel leaf veins. The cordaites had their reproductive structures and seeds arranged in cones. The cordaites had a number of growth forms and several different types of woody tissues have been observed in cordaite wood. The cordaites have been interpreted as growing in an environment like the modern bald cypress swamp. Animals The major animals on land during the Carboniferous were the amphibians (and their descendants such as the stem reptiles) and insects. Dragonfly fossils have been found
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Unformatted text preview: with wingspans up to 75 cm. With climate changes occurring during the late Carboniferous, the plants changed, as did the terrestrial animals. Glaciation in Gondwana has been blamed for this chanmge. One response that tetrapods made was to develop the amniotic egg. With the egg and resulting freedom from water for reproduction (to which amphibians to this day must return to lay their eggs) reptiles (sometimes known as stem-reptiles, could exploit drier environments further from water. Hylonomus was one of the earliest reptiles. This quadrupedal (four-legged) stem reptile ate insects (which were prolific in the coal swamps). From this group of early reptiles evolved the pelycosaurs, the great reptiles of the Carboniferous-Permian times, and posibly the bipedal thecodonts of the permian-Triassic. Pelycosaurs included both herbivorous and carnovorous species. The group was characterized by an elaborate fin or sail on their back....
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This note was uploaded on 11/29/2011 for the course BIO BSC1010 taught by Professor Gwenhauner during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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