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When the Invasion of Land FailedThe Legacy of the Devonian Extinctions$
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George McGhee,

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231160575

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231160575.001.0001

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The Second Catastrophe and Retreat

The Second Catastrophe and Retreat

Chapter:
(p.179) Chapter 6 The Second Catastrophe and Retreat
Source:
When the Invasion of Land Failed
Author(s):

George R. McGhee

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231160575.003.0006

This chapter describes the End-Famennian Catastrophe. In the waning years of the Famennian period, vertebrates and arthropods once again began to die in greater numbers. On land, the huge forests also began to die. Population sizes of species once again dwindled until they vanished. By the end of the Famennian period, all of the known Famennian tetrapod species had perished. In land, most of the great lignophyte tree Archaeopteris hibernica died. Only a few of the Archaeopteris trees survived in the Early Carboniferous period, only to die soon thereafter as well. Out in the oceans, the ancient jawless fishes and the great armored fishes, the Placodermi, began to die rapidly. Both of these groups had lost half of their phylogenetic lineages in the end-Frasnian extinction, but their entire generic lineage did not survive the end-Famennian extinction. The cause of this phenomenon is still unknown up to now.

Keywords:   Famennian period, tetrapod species, Archaeopteris hibernica, Carboniferous, phylogenetic lineages, End-Famennian Catastrophe

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