Carboniferous forest. Illustration of the Sun's rays shining through a Carboniferous forest. The Carboniferous period extended from 345 to 280 million years ago and is characterised by the abundance of primitive vascular plants such as club mosses, ferns and horsetails. These often reached a height of 15 to 20 metres and contributed largely to the formation of coal seams. The fauna consisted mainly of insects, freshwater molluscs, fishes and some amphibians.
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