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THE EARLY PALEOZOIC - history has been much investigated...

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THE EARLY PALEOZOIC The Paleozoic Era literally translates as the "time of ancient life" and spans the time period between 544 and 245 million years ago. The Paleozoic is the first of three eras within the Phanerozoic Eon (the time of visible life). While life originated during the Archean and increased in complexity during the earlier Proterozoic, the Paleozoic Era is marked by the spread of animals with hard preservable parts such as shells and exoskeletons . This has led to what is popularly known as the Cambrian Explosion, the sudden appearance of a stupendous array of animal life, much of which is not closely related to modern forms. Despite extinctions at various times, the Paleozoic is notable for the increasing modernization of life. By the end of the Paleozoic, almost all major groups of life had developed. The Paleozoic ended in the greatest mass extinction event in world history. During this massive die-off nearly 96% of all marine species went extinct. The cause of this greatest catastrophe in Earth
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Unformatted text preview: history has been much investigated and scientific consensus of its cause is emerging. During the Paleozoic we see several major advances in life. The aformentioned Cambrian Explosion is the first. The evolution of plants from some group of green algae during the Ordovician is another, since these plants moved from water onto land, paving the way for vertebrate animals to follow. The first vertebrates, amphibians , were little more than legged fish, although their remote descendants would come to rule the land as reptiles , the first truly terrestrial vertebrates. Geologically, the Paleozoic is noted for the assembly of Pangaea , the world supercontinent proposed back in the 1912 book The Origin of Continents and Oceans by German meteorologist Alfred Wegener (1880-1930) as part of his continental drift hypothesis. At the close of the precambrian there was already a world supercontinent, Rodinia, that broke apart during the early Paleozoic....
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