Emergent Carboniferous Period: 359 - 299 mya
Features of the Carboniferous period: 359 - 299 mya:
the 5th period of the Paleozoic
3) The first reptiles arise from early tetrapods, about 330 mya, with leathery skin and egg coverings, i.e., amniotic egg reproduction; one lineage giving rise to crocodiles, snakes, lizards, dinosaurs and birds (diapsids); a second lineage gives rise to mammal-like reptiles - more accurately called proto-mammals, or stem mammals (see definition of synapsids, below), through the Permian period and the Early Mesozoic era.
2) Ancient amphibians continue to undergo an adaptive radiation, and become the dominant terrestrial carnivores.
4) The death of forests leads to peat beds that transform into today's major coal deposits during the later Cretaceous period, particularly in the regions of the Persian Gulf, and the Gulf of Mexico (see page 42).
5) Euramerica on course to collide with Gondwana, to form the supercontinent, Pangea.
6) The trilobites head for extinction.
7) The Mississippian and Pennsylvanian epochs further divide this period.
8) Placoderms (see definition, below) become extinct.
9) Increased atmospheric oxygen concentration creates huge plants and animals.
1) "...a time of incredible diversification and abundant terrestrial biota....[and] the Earth's first episode of widespread, massive coal formation and consequently oxygen and CO2 variability..." (The Geologic Time Scale, 2012, p. 604).