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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