Carboniferous Period

of the Earth

Dating from 360-286 mya, the Carboniferous Period began after the second major extinction of life on Earth.

During the Carboniferous, insects evolved wings, and certain amphibians evolved amniotic eggs, allowing for the evolution of reptiles. Temperatures became milder, marking a decline in the number of ferns and large insects.

The Carboniferous Period can be further divided into two epochs, the Mississippian, or Lower Carboniferous, and the Pennsylvanian, or Upper Carboniferous. The Mississippian fossils are found in strata of limestone, while the Pennsylvanian fossils are found in coal-bearing layers of rocks. Click on the links below to find out more about these epochs.

Tommotian (530 - 527 mya)   Pennsylvanian (323 - 290 mya) Mississippian (354 - 323 mya)
Cambrian (543 - 490 mya) Ordovician (490 - 443 mya) Silurian (443 - 417 mya) Devonian (417 - 360 mya)

Carboniferous (360 - 286 mya)

Permian (286 - 248 mya)