English 中文   Site Map

Earth Evolution
Earth Materials
Earth Evolution
Geological History
Solar System
Archean Proterozoic Early
Late Paleozoic Mesozoic Cenozoic

Late Paleozoic 416 - 251 million years ago
Life moves onto Land

The first plants and arthropods already moved onto land during the Silurian but did not really flourish until the end of Devonian when huge forests covered the land. At the same time fishes continued to diversify into lobe-finned and ray-finned bony groups. The fins of the lobe-finned fish evolved into legs of the first land vertebrates able to leave the ocean to live on land - the amphibians.

Reptiles evolved from the amphibians in the Carboniferous and were the first vertebrate group in which some species lived entirely on land. They achieved this among others through the evolution of the waterproof amniotic egg while plant evolution replaced waterborne spores with seeds to overcome their dependence on moist environments for reproduction.

Flight was first achieved as insects evolved wings. A high oxygen content in the Carboniferous atmosphere may have been the cause for the evolution of gigantic arthropods such as dragonflies with wingspans of up to 70 cm.