The Vertebrates Come Ashore

375 million years
or 92 meters from today

Geolo­gical era: Paleo­zoic / Devonian

Multiple rapid climate changes and lower oxygen levels in the water lead to the third major extinc­tion. A strong increase in volcan­ism, prob­ably caused by large contin­ental shifts, is also contrib­ut­ing to this. Three quar­ters of all species living in the water are affected. Amphi­bi­ans — verteb­rates that can breathe air and live on land — have opened up the land as a new habitat. The first coel­acanths also appear — they still exist today.

Shal­low warm seas cover parts of the contin­ents. The climate is initially warm, similar to the climate in Europe today. Later, the polar regions gradu­ally cool down. Espe­cially South Amer­ica, which is close to the South Pole, is affected.

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