Supporting Skeleton of the Plants

350 million years
or 85 meters to today

Geolo­gical era: Paleo­zoic / Carboniferous

Plants form the stable substance lignin as a support­ing frame­work and for protec­tion. This mech­an­ical pulp enables plants to grow tall. For a long time, there are no organ­isms capable of decom­pos­ing it. The plants do not rot, but turn into coal. The CO2 content of the air decreases, the oxygen content increases. There­fore insects can become very large and colon­ize the new forests.

Euramer­ica (Laur­us­sia) and Gond­wana collide to form the new super­con­tin­ent Pangaea. In Euramer­ica, trop­ical condi­tions prevail, while the land masses lying at the South Pole are covered by an increas­ingly thick ice sheet. The form­a­tion of ice causes sea levels to fall.

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