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Life Began on Earth between 4500 Mya and 2500 Mya probably due to Self-Replicating Molecules (Probably RNA) converting in to Proto-Cells.

Ancestors


Earliest Animals Edit

The earliest animals evolved in the Neoproterozoic

Ediacaran Edit

One of the earliest confirmed animals was known as Xenusion a primitive worm or panarthropod. These evolved eventually in to early Panarthropod groups such as Anomalocaridids in the and Trilobites and (eventually) giving rise to the first backboned animals.


First Vertebrates Edit

A vertebrate is an animal with a backbone the first vertebrates were early Fish in the Cambrian seas


Cambrian Edit

During the Cambrian there was no life on the land and the seas were ruled by invertebrates such as Anomalocaris of the Anomalocaridids and the five eyed Opabinia. However in these waters there also lived early fish such as Pikaia and Haikouichthys.

Opabinia BW2

Opabinia

The Evolution of Fish Edit

After first evolving in the Cambrian they didn't rule the oceans until the Devonian instead the Ordovician and Silurian periods were ruled by Sea Scorpions or Eurypterids

Ordovician Edit

During the Ordovician animals made their first tentative steps onto land Eurypterids like Megalograptus walked onto land to spawn. The seas were ruled by the Orthocones giant squid like animals such as Cameroceras and Orthoceras. Fish continued to evolve as armored fish the first true fish Arandaspis evolved around this time with its cousins Astraspis and Sacabambaspis also Trilobites continued to exist.


Ordovician-Silurian extinction Edit

The Ordovician-Silurian Extinction was a catastrophic loss of life at the boundary between those periods.

49% of Animals died out including many Brachiopods and Trilobites.

As a result of this the beginning of the Silurian was irradiated.

Silurian Edit

After the extinction the biodiversity of earth was significantly damaged but Fish and Eurypterids continued to evolve the Eurypterids evolving into insects and arachnids (Brontoscorpio) fish such as Procephalaspis swam the seas The firstSharks such as Elegestolepis, Mongolepis and Polymerolepis.

Elegestolepis

Tooth of Elegestolepis


Age of Fishes Edit

The Time when fish really began to rule the seas

Devonian Edit

Often Known as the age of Fishes

Vertebrates Edit

The Devonian while being termed the Age of Fishes also saw the beginning of primitive amphibians such as Hynerpeton whilst Sharks still existed (Stethacanthus they were dwarfed by armored fish such as Dunkleosteus

Selected Genera Edit
Placoderms Edit

These Superb armored Fish ruled the Devonian seas covered in armour they were unchallenged in every aspect of Devonian marine life but despite this in the end they all went extinct leaving no present day relatives.

= Selected Genera =Edit


Invertebrates Edit

Arachnids first colonised the land scorpions such as Eoscorpius were amongst the first animals to colonise the land. In the sea the last of the Anomalocaridids Schinderhannes still lived along with some Eurypterids.

Moving on to land Edit

From the Carboniferous animals moved on to land

Carboniferous Edit

The Carboniferous saw the rise of giant insects.

Insects Edit

Due to there being a considerable amount more Oxygen in the atmosphere during the Carboniferous; Insects could grow much larger. The giant dragonfly Meganeura was perhaps the largest of all flying invertebrates.


Selected Genera Edit


Amphibians Edit

Amphibians continued to evolve some such as Proterogyrinus could now travel much further away from water as they became the very first reptiles.

Selected Genera Edit

Reptiles Edit

The First reptiles evolved during this time, early ones such as Spinoaequalis were similar in size and appearance to modern day lizards

Selected Genera Edit

Fish Edit

Fish continued on sharks ruled the seas


Arachnids Edit

As with insects Arachnids grew much larger scorpions such as Pulmonoscorpius were some of the largest ever seen.

Selected Genera Edit


Centipedes and Millipedes Edit

Like the arachnids and insects centipedes and millipedes continued and Arthropleura was the biggest arthropod of all time.


Rulers of the Land Edit

From the Permian onwards the animals ruled unquestionably

Permian Edit

During the Permian most of the planet was ruled by Synapsids or mammal like reptiles

Synapsids Edit

The Synapsids were divided into 2 groups the Therapsids and Pelycosaurs.

Therapsids Edit

These were the most sucessful during the permian with the Gorgonopsids such as Inostrancevia and the Dicynodonts like Diictodon being the most common animals around at that time

Pelycosaurs Edit

The Pelycosaurs were less mammal like than the therapsids and less sucessful. The Iconic Dimetrodon was a Pelycosaur.

Invertebrates Edit

The Desert like atmosphere of the Permian made it hard for land invetebrates though one Meganeuropsis may be the largest dragonfly that ever lived.

Audubon Institute Meganeuropsis

Meganeuropsis in its tropical home

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