Silurian Period in Australia

Silurian Period was the time for first ferns and cycads.


Silurian covers the time between Ordovician and Devonian periods, between 434 and 490 million years ago.

Fossil Worm Tubes (Arthrophycus Allegheniensis), Silurian Period, Pennsylvania
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While the first land plants evolved during Ordovician, the first vascular plants such as ferns and cycads developed during Silurian. These, larger plants would have created a habitat for animals, which started to invade the land during Silurian. Because by now, there was something to eat on the land.

Fossil Sipunculid Worms (Lecthyalus Gregarius), Silurian Period, 420 M.Y.A., Illinois, USA
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During Silurian, the Australian continent was lifted so most of the eastern Australia which during Cambrian and Ordovician was under deep ocean, now emerged from the water (areas inland from Cairns and Townsville, and further south, inland from Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and easter Tasmania remained under the water).

Trilobite Fossil (Arctinurus Boltoni), Silurian, 400 M.Y.A., Middleport, New York
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In Western Australia, there was an arm of sea that extended to where the Great Sandy Desert is today. East of there, sand dunes that are now the sandstones of Palm Valley in Finke Gorge National Park formed.

Life-Forms of the Silurian Era
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On the western coast, the sediments that now form the red cliffs of Kalbarri National Park were laid. These sediments (inland from Kalbarri) contain tracks of a giant water scorpion - some of the first tracks of an animal on the land in Australia. The first land animals were centipedes, amphibians and primitive spiders.

















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