THE LATE PALEOZOIC

THE LATE PALEOZOIC - period continued unabated during the...

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THE LATE 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. The late Paleozoic, the subject of this chapter, saw the spread of plant life over the land surface and the emergence and diversification of amphibians and their descendants the reptiles as dominant animal life on land. Diversification of fish, which began during the Silurian
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Unformatted text preview: period continued unabated during the Devonian Period. By the end of the Paleozoic, almost all major groups of life, except the flowering plants and mammals, had developed. The Paleozoic ended in the greatest mass extinction event in world history. During this massive die-off nearly 95% of all marine species went extinct. The cause of this greatest catastrophe in Earth 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 ....
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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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THE LATE PALEOZOIC - period continued unabated during the...

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