The period of time 350-280 million years ago. Swamps formed and filled with lush vegetation. Many of those swamps became coal, which we cheerfully burn today. The period is named for these deposits. And what's a swamp without insects? They evolved too. Amphibians spread and begat reptiles - the first full-time vertebrate land dwellers.

Gorgonzola points out that American geologists often divide this period into a Mississippian period and a Pennsylvanian period.

Back: Devonian On: Permian

Car`bon*if"er*ous (?), a. [Carbon + -ferous.]

Producing or containing carbon or coal.

Carboniferous age Geol., the age immediately following the Devonian, or Age of fishes, and characterized by the vegatation which formed the coal beds. This age embraces three periods, the Subcarboniferous, the Carboniferous, and Permian. See Age of acrogens, under Acrogen. -- Carboniferous formation Geol., the series of rocks (including sandstones, shales, limestones, and conglomerates, with beds of coal) which make up the strata of the Carboniferous age ∨ period. See the Diagram under Geology.

 

© Webster 1913.

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