The Carboniferous Period: life, species and extinct
Lasted for 64 million years the Carboniferous Period (354 to 290 million years ago) belonged to the Paleozoic era. It was the age of coal and its name comes from the carbon-bearing coal formed at that time. The period was divided into 2 parts – the Mississipian Epoch and the Pennsylvanian Epoch. Both of these eras have significant contributions in development of life and species of the Carboniferous Period. Life on land and water emerged with several new species of which many suffered from extinction at the end of the period.
Trees, forests and coal of Carboniferous Period
This period had a major contribution in formation of coal that is still used by humans. The trees bearing barks produced this carboniferous coal and paved the way to use coal in modern day world. Vegetation of this period included tree ferms, club mosses, great horsetails and towering trees which come with strap shaped leaves. There was a considerable increase of oxygen in the air mainly due to growth of forests which was responsible to increase the sizes of vascular plants.
Plants of Carboniferous Period
There were significant developments of plants in the Carboniferous Period. Some of the well-known varieties included Lycopodiales, Equisetales, Lepidodendrales, Sphenophyllales, Medullosales, Filicales, Cordaitales, Callistophytales, Cycadophyta, and Voltziales.
Marine invertebrates of the Carboniferous period
Among the dominant groups of the Carboniferous period included corals, foraminifera, hederelloids, bryozoa, echinoderms, brachiopods, microconchids, and ammonoids.
Species of the Carboniferous Period: insects
Different species of insects emerged in this period. Fossils of deadly crawling species to gigantic scorpions and cockroaches to large dragonflies denote their presence and development in the Carboniferous Period. It was also at this period that insects developed their airbones or wings.
Species of the Carboniferous Period: Amphibians
This period also witnessed development different species of Amphibians. Some of the predatory species of Carboniferous amphibians looked like crocodiles of modern age. Their vicious teeth, scaly and thick skin were to cope up with the nature’s moods.
Species of the Carboniferous Period: Fishes and sharks
Different types of fishes and sharks appeared in the Carboniferous Period of which some fall into marine category and some others are fresh water creatures. Rhizodonts, Sarcopterygian, and Palaeonisciformes are among the dominant bony fish species. Freshwater fishes included Gyracanthus, Cheirodus, Acanthodes, Uronemus, and Ctenodus.
Some of the dominant species of shark included petalodonts, Symmoriida, Elasmobranchs, Xenacanthida , Stethacanthus and Psammodus. Actually, sharks had a great evolutionary radiation because of the extinction of the placoderms of the Devonian age.
Extinction of the Carboniferous Period
The armored fishes or the placoderms of the Devonian era were among the chief extinct of the Carboniferous Period. Ichthyostegalian labyrinthodonts a fish like creature of the Devonian period also suffered from extinction in the Carboniferous period. The extinction event of the carboniferous period also affected the rainforests which finally collapsed. Due to sudden change of climate there was a huge collapse of the rainforest and along with it the inhabitants of these forests too suffer from extinction.