360 - 280 million years ago

Animate the Continental Drift

New Species:

  • first reptiles and winged insects
  • mayflies
  • cockroaches
Wide spread coal swamps
Many large ferns; scale tree forests
Large insects and reptiles; amphibians common

The Carboniferous Period was so-named because of its widespread coal swamps. The period is marked by a tropical climate and the development of many large tree ferns, which often reached heights of 50-70 feet.

Theres were also large forests of scale trees (now extinct) which were capable of achieving gigantic size, growing to heights of more than 130 feet with trunks measuring up to 6 feet or more in diameter. Carbon dioxide was much more abundant in Earth's atmosphere then, which may have to do with the great size the ancient trees were able to attain.

The Carboniferous is marked by many large species; the first dragonflies, for example, were enormous--with wingspans of 29 inches; the first cockroaches measured up to 4" in length.