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System (period) Series Stage (age) Lower boundary, Ma
Permian Cisuralian Asselian 298.9±0.15
Carboniferous Pennsylvanian Upper Gzhelian 303.7±0.1
Kasimovian 307.0±0.1
Middle Moscovian 315.2±0.2
Lower Bashkirian Golden spike323.2±0.4
Mississippian Upper Serpukhovian 330.9±0.2
Middle Visean Golden spike346.7±0.4
Lower Tournaisian Golden spike358.9±0.4
Devonian Upper Famennian older
Subdivisions and "golden spikes" according to IUGS as os September 2023[1]

The Carboniferous is a geologic period and system that extends from the end of the Devonian Period, at 358.9 ± 0.4 million years ago, to the beginning of the Permian Period, at 298.9 ± 0.15 Ma. The name Carboniferous means "coal-bearing" and derives from the Latin words carbō(“coal”) and ferō (“I bear, I carry”), and was coined by geologists William Conybeare and William Phillips in 1822.

A simulation of the Carboniferous can be found here: http://www.extra-life.de

Carboniferous subdivisions[]

In International chronostratigraphic chart, Carboniferous system is subdivided into Mississippian and Pennsylvanian subsystems, which were originally used in North American chart. Both subsystems contain three series (geochronological equivalent of series is an epoch): Lower, Middle and Upper, and each of them (except Upper Pennsylvanian) corresponds to a geological stage (geochronological equivalent of stage is an age). Tournaisian, Visean and Serpukhovian are parts of the Mississippian, while Bashkirian, Moscovian, Kasimovian and Gzhelian are parts of the Pennsylvanian. The last two, Kasimovian and Gzhelian, are united into the Upper Pennsylvanian series.

Terrestrial biota[]

Primitive seed ferns appeared during the Devonian, but established further in the Carboniferous, as well as the beginning of cycads. By the late Carboniferous, 27 insect Orders had evolved- many of which were winged. Mandible and sucking mouthparts also evolved here, indicating a diversification of feeding habits in insects.