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 365 million years ago

Mean atmospheric O2
 75% of modern level

Mean atmospheric CO2
 8x pre-industrial level

Mean temperature
 6C above modern level


Paleozoic Earth - Ichthyostega and Rhacophyton on a Late Devonian floodplain featuring Archaeopteris and Lycopsids; Famennian stage; missing link; tetrapod; paleontology; paleobiology; paleobotany - Natural History Illustration Geologic Time Scale

 Era: Paleozoic
  Period: Devonian
   Epoch: Late
    Age: Famennian


Ichthyostega and Rhacophyton

A three-foot-long Late Devonian tetrapod of the genus Ichthyostega emerges from waters of a floodplain 365 million years ago in what is today the Canadian Arctic. On the left is a four-foot-tall Rhacophyton ceratangium, a species of unclassified ancient shrub that is thought to be one of the earliest ferns. On the horizon are more Rhacophyton, along with towering tree-like plants with fern-like leaves of the genus Archaeopteris, and Lycopsids in various stages of growth.

Ichthyostega was one of the earliest tetrapods, a descendent of lobe-finned fishes and ancestor of amphibians. Ichthyostega had lungs and seven-toed limbs that allowed it to move about the shallow waters and shores of swamps and floodplains. It was among the first terrestrial vertebrates.



Copyright Walter B. Myers. All rights reserved.

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