Paleozoic Earth ] Back | Next >

 Western Europe
 300 million years ago

Mean atmospheric O2
 163% of modern level

Mean atmospheric CO2
 3x pre-industrial level

Mean temperature
 Same as modern level


Paleozoic Earth - A Eogyrinus swimming featuring Sigillaria, Lepidodendron, and a legless Ophiderpeton; lycopsids; club-mosses; quillworts - Natural History Illustration Geologic Time Scale

 Era: Paleozoic
  Period: Carboniferous*
   Epoch: Late
    Age: Gzhelian


Eogyrinus swimming

A 15-foot-long, 200 pound prehistoric amphibian from the genus Eogyrinus swims down a Carboniferous tributary 300 million years ago in what is today western Europe. Further up the tributary another Eogyrinus prepares to enter the water. Eogyrinus was one of the largest predators of its time, and perhaps the largest of the family Eogyrinidae. It probably spent most of its time in the water, and like modern crocodiles probably fed on fish and other swimming vertebrates.

Also in this image, on the upper left on the trunk of a lycopodiophyte is a giant millipede and "roachoid." Flying overhead and resembling giant dragonflies are prehistoric insects from the genus Meganeura. The tree-like plants making up the surrounding forest include vascular plants of the species Lepidodendron aculeatum and spore-bearing plants of the species Sigillaria scutellata. The low ground cover includes various primitive ferns and mosses.

*AKA Carboniferous/ Pennsylvanian


Copyright Walter B. Myers. All rights reserved.

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