RICHARD BIZLEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY RICHARD BIZLEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Carboniferous insects. Illustration of a millipede (Arthropleura) and a dragonfly (Meganeura monyi) 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 left), Calamites (right foreground), ferns and Lepidodendron (tall trees in background).
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