Q:

What was the Paleozoic Era climate?

A:

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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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 caused the Paleozoic Era to end?

    A:

    The Paleozoic Era, which marked the appearance of almost all animal phyla within a few million years, was ended by a mass extinction. The mass extinction was the virtual opposite of what started the era, with over 90 percent of the world's life being wiped out. Recovery from this mass extinction took almost 30 million years.

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  • Q:

    What are most periods of the Paleozoic era named after?

    A:

    The periods of the Paleozoic Era were named for the locations, mostly in Great Britain, where rocks associated with them were found, according to the University of Oklahoma. The Cambrian Period, for example, is derived from the ancient Latin name for Wales, which has extensive Cambrian deposits.

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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:

    What are some foods from the Paleolithic era?

    A:

    The Scientific American states that, Paleolithic, or Stone Age, people lived as hunter-gatherers. Their diets varied according to geography, season and availability of foods. Paleolithic people did not farm to produce food, plant crops or keep domesticated animals. Their food sources consisted of: hunting for animals, fishing, scavenging remains left by animals and gathering wild plants, nuts, berries and seeds. Paleolithic diets did not contain grains, legumes or dairy products.

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