Q:

What was the Paleozoic Era climate?

A:

Quick Answer

The climate of the Paleozoic Era varied as the period began with large glaciers covering the surface of the Earth, which gave way to warmer temperatures, glacial melt and volcanic activity. The Paleozoic Era existed 545 to 248 million years ago. Increasing frequency and power of volcanic eruptions drew the once-separate continents of Earth closer together and warmed land and sea temperatures, leading to an abundance of life forms.

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Full Answer

Glacial coverage and retreat reshaped the Earth's surface. New land forms emerged, and with the help of tectonic plates and volcanic activity, distances between continents closed. Tectonic activity, in fact, caused the merger of existing landforms into a large continent, called Pangaea. Glaciers formed approximately 430 million years ago. They moved far south, reaching the continent of present-day Africa. During the Paleozoic Era, Africa extended down to the South Pole. As with large continents today, the continent Pangaea experienced variations in seasonal and long-term weather patterns and atmospheric conditions. The interior region consisted primarily of dry land and air, resembling desert regions. The gradual warming throughout the later periods of the Paleozoic Era introduced monsoons, which affected regional climates. Fossils collected from the Paleozoic Era indicate many life forms of invertebrate and vertebrate species arose during that time. Vertebrates including fish, amphibians and reptiles emerged; along with plants, early animals lived in water and on land.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What animals lived during the Paleozoic Era?

    A:

    During the Paleozoic Era, there were multi-cellular organisms like trilobites, mollusks, jawless fish, seaweeds and finally, jawed fish, sharks, plants and early amphibians and reptiles. At the beginning, there was an increase in diversity of multi-celled animals, while the end of the era was marked by the largest mass extinction in history.

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  • Q:

    Which era occurred just before the current era?

    A:

    The era occurring before the current geologic era was the Mesozoic, which began roughly 245 million years ago and ended about 64 million years ago. The Mesozoic era consisted of three periods; from oldest to more recent, they are the Triassic, the Jurassic and the Cretaceous periods.

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  • Q:

    Which fossils are from the Precambrian era?

    A:

    The Virtual Fossil Museum states that Precambrian fossils mostly derive from organisms called stromatolites. Stromatolites are presumed to be among the world's oldest fossils. The existence of stromatolites is important, because stromatolite fossils are a window into the earth's distant past that allows scientists to understand the foundation of evolution.

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  • Q:

    When did the Cenozoic Era begin?

    A:

    The Cenozoic Era began about 65 million years ago and continues today. It is the third documented era in the history of the Earth. It is marked by the proliferation of mammals, birds, grasses and flowering plants.

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