Geological history of the Earth: the Paleozoic era

Geological history of the Earth: the Paleozoic era


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The Paleozoic era (“old life”In Greek), it is the oldest of the three geological eras of the Phanerozoic eon, as well as the longest (from 541 to 252 million years ago).

It is subdivided into six geological periods:

  • Cambrian
  • Ordovician
  • Silurian
  • Devonian
  • Carboniferous
  • Permian

The Paleozoic era was a time of great geological, climatic and evolutionary changes, with diverse and cyclical proliferations of life throughout the periods, such as the “Cambrian explosion”, The moment of greatest explosion of life in the history of the earth.

During the Paleozoic, the evolution of species by which some marine animals develop limbs and begin to move on land.

This era ended with the largest extinction event in Earth's history: the Permian-Triassic mass extinction, known as the "Great Dying", which killed 95% of life on the planet.

Before this extinction, two others occurred: the Ordovician-Silurian extinction, in which the Earth became a "snowball", and the late Devonian extinction, where 70% of the species became extinct.

In turn, at the beginning of the era the supercontinent Pannotia was split, while at the end of the Paleozoic the supercontinent Pangea was formed.

Image: Shutterstock

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Video: Phanerozoic Eon. Geologic Time Scale with events