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The Carboniferous

Fossil When: 354 to 290 million years ago.

Animals: Corals, brachiopods and sea lilies are common in tropical seas. On land, insects and amphibians become common, and the first reptiles appear.
Plants: Large forests of mosses and ferns as big as trees grow on the land. Fossilised remains of these forests form coal.

Firsts: Reptiles appear for the first time in the Carboniferous.
Lasts: Most things lived through the Carboniferous into the Permian.

Notes: The climate was tropical with wet, swampy forests. Insects grew to large sizes - dragonfly-like creatures had wingspans of up to 30 cm.

Identify the fossils on this page - click on the pictures to see if you are right!
Remember, some of the fossils are actually much bigger than the pictures shown here.

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