Mean atmospheric O2
Geologic Time Scale
Arthropleura amidst Neuropteris
A four-foot-long arthropod from the genus Arthropleura crawls amidst seed ferns from the genus Neuropteris in a Carboniferous forest 310 million years ago in what is today Scotland. A relative of centipedes and millipedes, and growing up to 8 feet long and 18 inches wide, Arthropleura was the largest known terrestrial arthropod of all time. A combination of a higher percentage of atmospheric oxygen and relatively few terrestrial predators may have enabled Arthropleura to evolve to such an enormous size. Despite its fierce appearance, Arthropleura is currently believed to have been an herbivore.
In the shadows on the upper right are "roachoids," primitive ancestors of modern cockroaches..
|*AKA Carboniferous/ Pennsylvanian|
Copyright © Walter B. Myers. All rights reserved.
[ Home | What's New | The Graphics | Information | Site Map | ]