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Animals of the Paleozoic Era

The Paleozoic Era is a stage of the history of the earth that occupied more than 290 million years of duration, beginning more than 540 million years ago and ending more than 250 years ago. The period begins after the disintegration of the Pannotia supercontinent, and it ends with the formation of the supercontinent Pangaea.

As for the transformations of life on earth, it can be said that at the beginning of the Paleozoic there was no living being that was not aquatic , at the time when the period ended many animals had already conquered the mainland. During the first part of the period the most complicated forms of life evolved, while toward the end the lungs that gave rise to the amphibians developed .

The transformations were geological and also related to life on the planet, and they were so large that the period has been divided into sub-stages, which are detailed below.

  1. Cambrian (570 to 505 million years): The world looked like a vast blue ocean with some white clouds, where the continents were four and small. A glacial period begun in the Precambrian had ended. The following species developed there:
    • Cordados
    • Animals with hard structures, such as brachiopods
    • Trilobites
    • Thousands of strange tiny animals, with a soft body or a hard shell.
    • Some types of mollusks.
    • Halkieria, known as the oldest vertebrates.


  1. Ordovicico (505 to 438 million years): The seas gradually retreated, leaving uncovered areas. The continents, then, approached each other, and Iapetus ocean closed, while the Panthalassa covered most of the Northern Hemisphere. The climate was uniform and warm throughout the planet. There were some animal species.
    • Brachiopods
    • Molluscs
    • Gastropods
    • Briozoos
    • Anutiloideos
    • Cephalopods
    • Massive extinctions, product of the glaciations.


  1. Silurian (437 to 408 million years): The earth suffers some folds, where the strata move or reverse. A large number of terrestrial areas rise, and in that period another glaciation takes place, which affected what is currently North Africa. Some animals are recognized.
    • Fish with spine
    • Fish with jaws to eat, and scales to protect themselves.
    • Eurypterid arthropods



  1. Devonian (407 to 362 million years): Europe definitely clashes with North America, forming the continent of Laurasia. This shock produces sediments of red, sandstone type. The land did not undergo major tectonic changes, but a North Atlantic continent and another from Gondwana was defined, separated by the Tethys Sea. Some species originated.
    • Gigantrostráceos
    • Lobed fin fish
    • Tiktaalik
    • Ichthyostega, and some other tiny terrestrial animals.


  1. Carboniferous (361 to 290 million years): Two of the continents come together, and the conditions for the emergence of forests that will become coal basins in Europe and North America. Alaska collides with America, and the origin of some mountain ranges (such as the Appalachian Mountains) is produced by the folds of the earth’s crust. Large areas of forest are formed, and the atmosphere ends up modifying to form the ozone layer. The following animals saw the light there:
    • Myriapoda
    • Arachnids, sometimes giant
    • Amphibians, large size and multiple shapes.


  1. Permian (289 to 246 million years): They came to join the three existing continents, forming a supercontinent known as the Pangea. In the same way, a universal ocean was formed known as Wegener’s Panthalassa. In any case, the Tethys Sea split the only continent in half, which is why its conception of the Mediterranean comes from there. The formation of mountain chains in America, Europe and Asia was completed, and the central part of the Andean mountain range emerged. The climate varied according to the hemisphere, being warmer in the south. They already lived the following species.
    • Adaptation of reptiles to dry and desert areas
    • Reptiles with dorsal crest
    • Cinodontos, which will become mammals
    • Peliosaurs
    • Arqueosauros


Animals of the Cenozoic era

pelican fishing

Examples of Piscivorous animals