Portal:Paleozoic

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The Paleozoic Portal

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Introduction

The Paleozoic (or Palaeozoic) Era (from the Greek palaios (παλαιός), "old" and zoe (ζωή), "life", meaning "ancient life") is the earliest of three geologic eras of the Phanerozoic Eon, spanning from roughly 541 to 251.902 million years ago (ICS, 2004). It is the longest of the Phanerozoic eras, and is subdivided into six geologic periods (from oldest to least old): the Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian, Carboniferous, and Permian. The Paleozoic comes after the Neoproterozoic Era of the Proterozoic Eon, and is followed by the Mesozoic Era.

The Paleozoic was a time of dramatic geological, climatic, and evolutionary change. The Cambrian Period witnessed the most rapid and widespread diversification of life in Earth's history, known as the Cambrian explosion, in which most modern phyla first appeared. Fish, arthropods, amphibians and reptiles all evolved during the Paleozoic. Life began in the ocean but eventually transitioned onto land, and by the late Paleozoic, it was dominated by various forms of organisms. Great forests of primitive plants covered the continents, many of which formed the coalbeds of Europe and eastern North America. Towards the end of the era, large, sophisticated reptiles were dominant and the first modern plants (conifers) appeared.

The Paleozoic Era ended with the largest mass extinction in Earth's history, the Permian–Triassic extinction event. The effects of this catastrophe were so devastating that it took life on land 30 million years into the Mesozoic to recover.
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Selected article on the Paleozoic world and its legacies

Ornatifilum fossil.
Ornatifilum (Latin ornatis + filum, Ornamented filament) is an artificial form genus, which is used to categorise any small, branched filaments with external ornamentation. It has been applied to microfossils of Devonian age with possible fungal affinities; two "species" have been described, and further Silurian fossils closely resemble it. These Silurian specimens hint that the organisms may have been fungal, placing them among the oldest representatives of this kingdom.

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Selected article on the Paleozoic in human science, culture and economics

Bradford Colliery was a coal mine on the Central Manchester Coalfield in Bradford, Manchester then in the historic county of Lancashire, England. Although part of the Manchester Coalfield, the seams of the Bradford Coalfield correspond more closely to those of the Oldham Coalfield. The Bradford coalfield is crossed by a number of fault lines, principally the Bradford Fault, which was reactivated by mining activity in the mid-1960s.

Coal had been mined at Bradford since at least the early 17th century, when the area around the pits was largely rural; it became increasingly built-up and industrialised as nearby Manchester expanded during the 19th century. Coal was transported from the colliery by canal and railway, but most was consumed locally by the adjacent Bradford Ironworks. In the mid-20th century a 469-yard (420 m) underground tunnel was dug to supply coal directly to the Stuart Street Power Station.

Damage to buildings in the area around the colliery caused by subsidence led to it becoming uneconomic despite its sitting on large reserves of high-quality coal, and it was closed in 1968. The site was cleared and is now occupied by the City of Manchester Stadium. (see more...)

Selected picture

Laelaps by Charles R. Knight.

Artistic depiction of early Devonian land-flora by Eduard Riou from The World Before the Deluge 1872, United States.

Photo credit: Rursus

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Methanosarcina barkeri fusaro.

Topics

Geochronology - Cambrian (Early - Middle - Late) - Ordovician (Early - Middle - Late) - Silurian (Early - Wenlock - Ludlow - Late) - Devonian (Early - Middle - Late) - Carboniferous (Mississippian - Pennsylvanian)- Permian (Early - Middle - Late)

Paleozoic landmasses - Pannotia - Baltica - Laurentia - Siberia - Avalonia -Gondwanaland - Laurentia - Euramerica - Gondwana - South China- Pangaea

Major Paleozoic events - Cambrian Explosion - Cambrian substrate revolution - End-Botomian mass extinction - Cambrian–Ordovician extinction event

Cambrian appearances - Brachiopods - Burgess shale fauna - Cephalopods - Chitons - Crustaceans - Echinoderms - Foraminiferans - Graptolites - Radiolarians -Trilobites - Vertebrates

Ordovician appearances - Conodonts - Echinoids

Silurian appearances - Fungi - Galeaspids - Heterostracans - Land plants - Pituriaspids -Ray-finned fishes - Scorpions - Trigonotarbids

Devonian appearances - Crabs - Ferns - Harvestmen - Lichens - Lycophytes - Mites -Springtails - Stoneworts - Trimerophytes

Carboniferous appearances - Amphibians - Hagfishes - Insects - Ratfishes - Reptiles -Synapsids

Permian appearances - Beetles - Pelycosaurs - Temnospondyls - Therapsids

Fossil sites - Bear Gulch Limestone - Beecher's Trilobite Bed - Gilboa Forest - Grenfell fossil site - Hamilton Quarry - Mazon Creek fossil beds - Mississippi Petrified Forest - Walcott Quarry - Walcott–Rust quarry - Yea Flora Fossil Site

Stratigraphic units - Burgess Shale - Chazy Formation - Columbus Limestone - Fezouata formation - Francis Creek Shale - Gogo Formation - Holston Formation - Hunsrück Slate - Jeffersonville Limestone - Karoo Supergroup - Keyser Formation - Kope Formation - Llewellyn Formation - Mahantango Formation - Maotianshan Shales - Marcellus Formation - Millstone Grit - New Albany Shale - Old Port Formation - Old Red Sandstone - Potsdam Sandstone - Red Beds of Texas and Oklahoma - Rhynie chert - Shawangunk Formation - St. Peter Sandstone - Tuscarora Formation

History - History of paleontology - Timeline of paleontology - The Great Devonian Controversy

Researchers - Charles Emerson Beecher - Ermine Cowles Case - Edward Drinker Cope - Henry De la Beche - Stephen Jay Gould - Increase A. Lapham - Charles Lapworth - Simon Conway Morris - Roderick Murchison - Alfred Sherwood Romer - Neil Shubin - Charles Doolittle Walcott

Culture - Animal Armageddon - The Day The Earth Nearly Died - List of creatures in the Walking with... series - Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives - Miracle Planet - Prehistoric Park - Sea Monsters - Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology - Vertebrate Paleontology - Walking with Monsters - Wonderful Life

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