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The Silurian, Ordovician and the Cambrian

Fossil When: 543 to 417 million years ago.

Animals: Invertebrates like trilobites, graptolites, molluscs, brachiopods, echinoderms, corals, and sponges. Vertebrates (animals with back bones) also appear in the Cambrian, fish-like creatures swim in the oceans for the first time. All these animals live in water: there was no animal life on land at this time.
Plants: Seaweed, and other algae grow in the oceans; primitive plants move onto land in the Ordovician.

Firsts: The first animals appeared in the Cambrian - all of the groups we see today have evolved from them.
Lasts: Most things lived through these periods and into the Devonian.

Notes: Most plants and animals lived in the sea, but some moved onto land and into freshwater in the Ordovician.

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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