It is thus concluded that Earth was warmer during Devonian time than at present. Warm and equable climates were common, as shown by the wide distribution of evaporite basins in the Northern Hemisphere, by coal deposits in Arctic Canada and Spitsbergen, and by widespread desert conditions and carbonate reefs.

What was the climate like during Late Devonian extinction?

There is also evidence that extinctions may be associated with rapid global warming or cooling. Particularly in the Late Devonian, extinction events may relate to periods of abrupt cooling associated with the development of glaciers and the substantial lowering of sea level.

What major changes happened on Earth’s surface during the Devonian Period?


In the oceans, the Devonian saw the evolution of the largest reef ecosystems in Earth history. Both plant and animal groups were rapidly evolving and invading the terrestrial realm, and in the Devonian the Earth’s first forests evolved with trees that towered some 30 metres high.

What was animal life like in the Devonian Period?

The first tetrapods — land-living vertebrates — appeared during the Devonian, as did the first terrestrial arthropods, including wingless insects and the earliest arachnids. In the oceans, brachiopods flourished. Crinoids and other echinoderms, tabulate and rugose corals, and ammonites were also common.

How did animals survive the Devonian extinction?

The late Devonian extinction affects marine life far more than life on land. Looking closely at the death toll, nearly all the jawless fish, as well as every last placoderm, dies. Unlike these bottom-feeders, many open-water swimmers, like bony fish and sharks, survive the extinction.

What caused the climate of the Devonian Period?

Climate and geography

Rapid erosion of these mountains contributed large amounts of sediment to lowlands and shallow ocean basins. Sea levels were high with much of western North America under water. Climate of the continental interior regions was very warm during the Devonian Period and generally quite dry.

What was the environment like during the Silurian period?

Large expanses of several continents became flooded with shallow seas, and mound-type coral reefs were very common. Fishes were widespread. Vascular plants began to colonize coastal lowlands during the Silurian Period, whereas continental interiors remained essentially barren of life.