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Transcript of Cambrian Period
One of The First to Adapt to Life on Land
Colonization of land diverse fungi, plants, and animals
Diversity of Bony Fishes
First tetrapods "amphibians-like" and insects appear
Mass extinction #2
Extensive forest of vascular plants form
Fossil fuel how is it formed
First seed plants appear
Origin of Reptiles
Radiation of Reptiles
Mass Extinction #3
Large seedless vascular plants existed in the tropical swamp forests which provided the organic material that became coal.
Growth of these forests removed huge amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, leading to a surplus of oxygen.
Popular theories include...
Amphibious tetrapods became diverse – some became more adapted to spending more time on land, while others returned to the water.
From the tetrapods evolved another group of land vertebrates – the early reptiles.
First great radiation of reptiles was made possible by the fact that reptiles could reproduce away from water.
Development of the amniotic egg made reptiles less dependent on water for reproduction.
More lakes and swamps and warmer, humid climate
Diversification of modern marine phyla
Great Devonian Controversy
"Age of the Fish"
Tetrapods comprise the first four-limbed vertebrates and their descendants, including the living amphibians, reptiles, and mammals.
The oxygen-depleted waters of Devonian lakes and the plants, provided the environment for some early fish to develop lungs and the ability to crawl out of the water and onto the land for short periods of time.
Insects also appeared along with the tetrapods, as newly developed land animals.
2nd mass extinction is known to have had at least two prolonged episodes of species depletion and several shorter periods.
Only affected marine life, and may be related to cooling climate from CO2 depletion caused by the first forests.
Early seed plants known as: Seed Ferns/Pteridospems
Walnut sized seeds grew directly on the leaves
Sizes ranged from shrub-like to small trees
Reproduced through seeds and not spores
These and true ferns made up most of the underfoliage of the Carboniferous coal swamps
Amphibians grew in size & diversity
Developed thicker, scaly skin that helped them not to dry out when out of the water for so long
Developed the Amniotic egg: they no longer had to lay eggs under water
Dumped debris into the air, and blocked sunlight; this would have caused a significant drop in temperature, and would have prevented plant photosynthesis
Increased amounts of CO2 (from volcanic debris) and methane from ocean beds accelerates the rate of global warming
Warm Climate + high sea levels lead to nutrient rich aquatic ecosystems
Saltwater: coral reefs with sponges, corals, and mollusks
Freshwater: thick algae layers (monopoly of freshwater lakes)
E V O L U T I O N ! ! !
"shell like skin"
jaws, gills, & fins
The Cambrian period, which lasted from 542-488 mya, was the first period of the Paleozoic era. There were 3 major landmasses during the Cambrian period: Laurentia, Baltica and Gondwana.
more dissolved salts+warmer waters= more evaporation
High Sea Level
More Complex Communities
Sponge and Algae Reefs
The Burgess shale, one of the most famous fossil sites in the world, was the site of discovery for some 65,000 Cambrian organisms.
The first well-preserved, complete fossil of
Anomalocaris Canadensis, found at the Burgess Shale.
The signature event of the Cambrian is known as the Cambrian explosion, a period where animals increased in numbers, diversity and size and complexity.
genetic mutations: thicker cell wall
for access to CO2; waxy outer coating
The Cambrian was when the first large predators appeared. As predators became larger and faster, their prey had to develop new methods of survival, such as multiple sets of eyes and spines. This was a driving force for evolution.
Anomalocaris Canadensis, the world first large predator, attacking its prey
The development of exoskeletons for protection from predators led to new species such as arthropods.
Trilobites were the first animals with stereoscopic, or 3D vision, which we have today.
The Cambrian was also when the Pikaia, an eel-like creature with an internal spine, the ancestor to all vertebrates, appeared.
Photosynthetic green algae increased oxygen, which accumulated in the atmosphere in a thin layer. This layer of ozone (O3) absorbs UV rays from the sun to decompose the O3 bonds, releasing oxygen back into the atmosphere.
Added deposits to atmosphere