Browsing the "Carboniferous" Category

The Carboniferous period is a division of earth’s history spanning from around 359 to 299 million years ago, and during which vast deposits of coal were formed across much of the world. The Early carboniferous enjoyed a warm climate with an atmosphere significantly richer in oxygen and CO2 than at present. In the oceans, corals, echinoderms and bivalves flourished, as did the planktonic single celled foraminifera. Sharks also began to diversify. On land, giant arthropods, such as the dragonfly-like Meganeura which grew over 70cm long, inhabited vast forests. Amphibians became an important part of land-based ecosystems and some also grew to enormous sizes. The earliest reptiles are known from this period. The Late Carboniferous suffered a significant drop in global temperatures and is characterised by glaciations, a global collapse of rainforests and a 100m drop in sea level.

Carboniferous

Episode 109: Early Tetrapod Feeding Mechanics

Published on May 1st, 2020 | by Liz Martin-Silverstone

Early tetrapods include the earliest animals to grow legs, and their closest ancestors. Moving from the water to land required a number of changes within the skeleton and muscular system, related to moving from swimming to [&hellip... Read More


Carboniferous

Episode 94: Joggins Fossil Cliffs

Published on September 17th, 2018 | by Liz Martin-Silverstone

The Carboniferous was a time of huge swampy forests, big trees, and lots of life both on land and in the ocean. One world-renowned fossil site from approximately 300 million years ago is the Joggins Fossil [&hellip... Read More


Carboniferous

Episode 86: Coal

Published on February 1st, 2018 | by David Marshall

The Carboniferous (Latin for ‘coal-bearing’) is a period of the Paleozoic Era named after the massive accumulations of coal that were formed globally during this time. These coal deposits were the fuel for the Industrial Revolution [&hellip... Read More


Blog

Is the Tully Monster a Vertebrate after all?

Published on February 20th, 2017 | by David Marshall

Tullimonstrum gregarium, the ‘Tully Monster’, is an enigmatic fossil from the Late Carboniferous Mazon Creek lagerstätte, Illinois, USA. This soft-bodied animal is instantly recognisable by its ‘torpedo-shaped’ body ending in a tail; its long, elbowed, proboscis [&hellip... Read More


Carboniferous

Episode 71: Graptolites

Published on October 15th, 2016 | by Laura Soul

Graptolites are small colonial organisms, each made up of many tiny, genetically identical zooids joined together by tubes. They’ve been around since the Cambrian and at times in Earth’s history have been very morphologically and taxonomically [&hellip... Read More


Carboniferous

Episode 67: Blue Beach Tetrapods

Published on July 22nd, 2016 | by Liz Martin-Silverstone

Blue Beach is a locality in Nova Scotia, Canada that is well known for it’s fossils from the Lower Carboniferous. In particular, it is significant for being one of few sites in the world that has [&hellip... Read More


Carboniferous

Episode 63: Return of the Tully Monster

Published on April 13th, 2016 | by David Marshall

Science is a process and so the door to the revision and refinement of hypotheses must always be left open. From the research discussed in our last episode, the newspapers would have you believe that the [&hellip... Read More


Carboniferous

Episode 62: The Tully Monster

Published on March 18th, 2016 | by David Marshall

Tullimonstrum gregarium, better known as the ‘Tully Monster’ is a problematic fossil from the Late Carboniferous Mazon Creek lagerstätte, Illinois, USA. The identity of this fossil has been the subject of much debate, due to its peculiar [&hellip... Read More


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