A close-up of a three foot long Ichthyostega from the Late Devonian Period 365 million years ago in what is today the Canadian Arctic. Flanking the Ichthyostega are Rhacophyton ceratangium, ancient shrubs that are thought to be one of the earliest ferns. The reddish fruit-like nodules attached to the fronds on the right are sporangia, enclosures in which spores are formed. The large tree-like trunk on the far right is the base of a young Archaeopteris.In the foreground are prehistoric arthropods, a millipede on the left and on the right cockroaches on trunk of a decaying Lycopsid. Arthropods had been walking the Earth for 40 million years before vertebrates like Ichthyostega began venturing ashore.Ichthyostega was one of the earliest...
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