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Paleozoic Era

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blue background with text paleozoic era 541 MILLION TO 252 MILLION YEARS AGO

Introduction

During the Paleozoic Era (541 to 251.9 million years ago), fish diversified and marine organisms were very abundant. In North America, the Paleozoic is characterized by multiple advances and retreats of shallow seas and repeated continental collisions that formed the Appalachian Mountains. Common Paleozoic fossils include trilobites and cephalopods, as well as insects and ferns. The greatest mass extinction in Earth's history ended this era.

Paleozoic Resources

The Paleozoic Era is further divided in to seven periods/sub-periods: the Cambrian, the Ordovician, the Sulurian, the Devonian, the Mississippian, the Pennsylvanian, the Permian. A few examples of NPS resources in each time Period are highlighted below, from youngest to oldest.

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    Paleozoic "Ancient Animal Life" Coloring Pages

    Visit—Paleozoic Parks

    Every park contains some slice of geologic time. Below, we highlight selected parks associated with Paleozoic Era. This is not to say that a particular park has only rocks from the specified period. Rather, rocks in selected parks exemplify a certain event or preserve fossils or rocks from a certain geologic age.

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      Last updated: September 28, 2020