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Terrestrial biota[edit]

This section is really confusing regarding plant life. It is bout saying that early Devonian plants lacked roots and vascular tissue, at the same time stating that rooted plants creating stable soils is one of the factors separating the Devonian from the Silurian. Also, the first and second paragraph overlap. I suggest keeping the first sentence and remove the rest of the paragraph to cleat the article up a bit.Petter Bøckman (talk) 09:39, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

"People of Devon"?[edit]

Down where I live Devonian has absolutely nothing to do with geological periods whatsoever and you would be looked at in blank disbelief if you said that what was what the word meant. I don't think I have ever seen the word (except in a purely geological or prehistorical context) stripped of a qualifier before and therefore unless I see any objections to the contrary I will move this to Devonian (geological period), and put up a stub on the not-quite-as-dead-and-defunct English neighbours, the Devonians from er Devon. user:sjc

I've only heard of the geologic period usage but I can see a possible ambiguity here. If you do move this then move it to Devonian period since that is what is called and also fix all the links that go to Devonian. IMO all the geologic periods should be named [X period]. --mav

v. cool. On my to do list. user:sjc

Now done. user:sjc

Whups, I just moved it back before seeing this discussion here. I moved it because all the other geological periods are titled without the "period" part of their name, and so I wanted to maintain consistency. Is this still an issue? I'll move it back right now just to be on the safe side. Bryan

Sounds like someone's found a project - go thru all the periods, find all the pages that link to them, and change them, then the periods in question. ~ender

'Devonian' might be a newspaper's name in Devon, but in the rest of the world it really does denote the geological period. We'd say 'people of Devon' for the Devonians, just as we'd say 'people of Kent'-- since 'Kentian' denotes the neo-Palladian style of William Kent.

I was sorry to see Gondwana changed to Gondwanaland. 'Gondwana' is preferred. Check at for example. Could we return to Gondwana? Wetman 21:05, 30 Dec 2003 (UTC)

The link can show Gondwana under Devonian, while still referring to the original name Gondwanaland. I changed all the Gondwana links to Gondwanaland because it was easier, but perhaps I should have retained the name in the articles. The article on Gondwana now refers to the historic Gondwana. The proposal for this has been in the talk page for a week. Imc 21:16, 30 Dec 2003 (UTC)
As a general rule, 'easier' would always involve using the conventional term. A disambiguation link might disambiguate any ambiguity here, no? Or perhaps the use of 'Gondwana' in paleogeography is now considered offensive? Shall we start a List of offensive terms in paleogeography, so that we know what to avoid? What do the people of Mississippi think about the Mississippian I wonder? Wetman 07:33, 31 Dec 2003 (UTC)

New dates[edit]

New dates have been entered: " (408.5 million years ago (mya)) to the beginning of the Mississippian subperiod of the Carboniferous (360 mya)" Can we get a source, whatever the mainstream current textbook says? --Wetman 23:39, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)

They weren't changed, they were swapped (correctly: the larger number is the earlier date). I just changed them to correspond to the dates in Geologic timescale, which uses a current (2004) standard reference. 20:33, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)

That wasn't very observant on my part... thanks. --Wetman 20:47, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)

 :) It got reverted back so I added a much stronger cite when I improved the intro paragraphs. 17:58, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)

"Age of Fish"[edit]

I am sorry to see this creaky antique label reintroduced. We live in the "Age of Insects", after all, not the "Age of Mammals" as the Victorians imagined. It sets the wrong tone from the very outset. --Wetman 21:59, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC).

Then add a caveat or some additional discussion. An encyclopedia shouldn't ignore a common synonym, but we can explain it. And while not particularly accurate (the "Age of Trees, Crawly Things and Fish" does have a kind of lilt), it does at least focus on one of the important changes. 00:12, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Is it still common? It certainly was when I was in grade school, back in the "Age of the Tailfin." "Age of..." gives me a vision of the murals painted by Charles R. Knight in the 1920s. Might just be my problem, but "Age of Chivalry" "Age of Reason" add little useful information. But as for "Devonian" to conjure a vision of magnificence, well, how about "Devonian reefs?" --Wetman 01:20, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Knight's earlier work was better, before everyone bought into the "slow, sluggish, and static" meme. "Age of Fish" is the most common synonym for Devonian; it's certainly more common than "Old Red Age" or "Greenhouse Age", both of which I have more problems with (they're artifacts of a sampling bias). But it's probably not common enough that it needs marquee billing. 03:17, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I moved it down to the third paragraph, and explained why some of the alternate names have become less common. It could always use a double check. (After all, I accidentally swapped the dates back when I added the reference earlier :) 00:47, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)

To my way of thinking, this puts it in proper perspective. --Wetman 00:57, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Since "Age of Fishes" can be found in any older (and a few newer) books, I think the name should be mentioned. It was after all a period of great diversification in fishes, so while the label is creaky and antique, it does merit mention (more so that "Greenhouse Age").Petter Bøckman (talk) 19:22, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

I think this sort of association of common names to geologic ages should be expanded. but it's not a discussion for encyclopedia. maybe a blog sometime. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:30, 4 April 2014 (UTC)


The section on paleography seems to have errors and contradictions. The second paragraph about Euramerica is basically fine. That continent began forming at the end of the Silurian and consolidated with suturing and mountain building in the Devonian. Pangaea was not simply Europe and the North American craton (Laurentia). It was primarily a Permian and Mesozoic supercontinent formed after the collision of Euramerica and Gondawana. Therefore, the second paragraph and the initial part of the third are contradictory. - Parsa (talk) 20:00, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Better now? Petter Bøckman (talk) 07:58, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

Laurasia here? Is this a mistake? Should it be Laurussia instead? Is'nt Laurasia created ~100 Ma later? (talk) 12:19, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

You are right. Fixed. Petter Bøckman (talk) 20:15, 3 September 2010 (UTC)


This article is WPs only reference (as I could find) to "greening of the continents", so I created a Redirect from that expression. However, NewScientist (6 Feb, p39) places that event 750Ma - nearly twice as old. Something's seriously amiss here - urgent fix req'd!!! Andrewjlockley (talk) 00:15, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

The closest I can find is this, which has the wrong date but close to what you say. The couple of the refs I've found point to the Devonian for the "greening of the continents". If this is the NewScientist artice that you refer to, it's about coming out of snowball Earth, and they might have just used the same turn of phrase for poetic reasons - don't know how significant the phrase really is in that context. Awickert (talk) 01:31, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
The greening of the continents is most definitely not something that happened back in the Precambrian. Whether one put that down to the Silurian, Devonian or even Carboniferous is a matter of what you put into the expression. Petter Bøckman (talk) 12:32, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

Extinction of the stromatoporoids?[edit]

The Climate section of this page says that the increase of temperature of the end of the Devonian might have contributed to the extinction of the stromatoporoids, whereas the Wikipedia page on Stromotoporoidea says: "Stromatoporoidea is an order of colonial aquatic invertebrates that until recently was believed to have gone extinct in the Devonian. Stromatoporoids dominated in the Silurian and Devonian, but fossils have been found in carbonate sequences from the Cambrian to the Oligocene." Doesn't this mean that the sentence about the extinction of the stromotoporoids should be removed from this page? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Old subdivisions[edit]

Older British works subdivided the Devonian into Dittonian, Downtonian, Breconian and others. I created some of these as redirects with possibilities, directing them here. Some one else has changed the redirect to the History section. Could we have something added to that section to explain these terms and their relation to the subdivisions in use today. I regret that I cannot so this, as i am not a geologist, but a search against Dowtonian indicated a number of other articles that used the term, so that it needed to be linked and explained. Peterkingiron (talk) 15:22, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

Climactichnites and arthropods[edit]

In this article the presence of Climactichnites is used to suggest that arthropods may have been on land as early as the Cambrian, and yet the article for Climactichnites says that the tracks are made by an organism without limbs. Since arthropods most certainly have limbs this seems like a contradiction that needs fixing. Troodon311 (talk) 16:11, 9 December 2010 (UTC) O I found this on my computer!!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:15, 9 February 2011 (UTC)