Carboniferous insects. Artwork of a millipede (Arthropleura) and a dragonfly (Meganeura) in the forests of the Carboniferous Period (354-290 million years ago). At this time, the land was dominated by insects and other invertebrates, some of which evolved to sizes much larger than found today. This millipede is 2 metres long, and this dragonfly has a wingspan of 60 centimetres. Swamp plants, which dominated the land, eventually formed large beds of coal underground. Plants shown here are Sphenophyllum emarginatum (lower right), Calamites (down left), tree fern (upper right) and Medullosa noei (centre). Most of the plants are Lepidodendron (large and fallen trunks).
May 1st, 2013
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