Late Paleozoic History

The last major deposition of carbonates on the North American craton was in Mississippian times, after which most of the North American continent has remained emergent, or exposed above sea level. The Mississippian was a time that saw vast proliferation of plants and animals across the continent, with many swamp deposits becoming peat bogs, and later when buried, being converted to coal. For this reason the time periods encompassing the Mississippian and Pennsylvanian are commonly referred to as the Carboniferous Period (355-290 million years ago).

The Late Paleozoic was also a time of continental amalgamation. North America finally collided with Africa and South America, forming Gondwana during the Appalachian or Alleghenian Orogeny (about 300 million years ago), and similar collisions worldwide formed the supercontinent of Pangaea (meaning all-lands, including the southern continents in Gondwana). The evolution of life progressed rapidly on land, with reptiles becoming strong and dominant on the land.

Continue reading here: Pangaea

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