The biostratigraphical distribution of earliest tetrapods (Late Devonian): a revised version with comments on biodiversification
A. Blieck, G. Clément, M. Streel, 2010. "The biostratigraphical distribution of earliest tetrapods (Late Devonian): a revised version with comments on biodiversification", The Terrestrialization Process: Modelling Complex Interactions at the Biosphere–Geosphere Interface, M. Vecoli, G. Clément, B. Meyer-Berthaud
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The 13 presently known genera of Late Devonian tetrapods are situated in the recently completed miospore zonation of Western Gondwana and Euramerica, in relation to the standard conodont zonation. Some of them are still unprecisely dated. The stratigraphic sequences of East Greenland, North China and East Australia are briefly reviewed to discuss the age of the tetrapods collected there and to analyse consequences in relation to the Frasnian–Famennian and Devonian–Carboniferous boundaries. Two episodes of biodiversification seem to have occurred: the first in the Frasnian and the second in the late and latest Famennian. Due to the currently known fossil evidence, the consensus scenario advocates a late Middle Devonian to early Late Devonian origin of tetrapods on the Old Red Sandstone Continent (Euramerica) at a time of warm climate and recovering atmospheric oxygen level during the building of a pre-Pangaean configuration of landmasses.
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The Terrestrialization Process: Modelling Complex Interactions at the Biosphere–Geosphere Interface
The invasion of the land by plants (‘terrestrialization’) was one of the most significant evolutionary events in the history of life on Earth, and correlates in time with periods of major palaeoenvironmental perturbations. The development of a vegetation cover on the previously barren land surfaces impacted on the global biogeochemical cycles and the geological processes of erosion and sediment transport. The terrestrialization of plants preceded the rise of major new groups of animals, such as insects and tetrapods, the latter numbering some 24 000 living species, including ourselves. Early land-plant evolution also correlates with the most spectacular decline of atmospheric CO2 concentration of Phanerozoic times and with the onset of a protracted period of glacial conditions on Earth. This book includes a selection of papers covering different aspects of the terrestrialization, from palaeobotany to vertebrate palaeontology and geochemistry, promoting a multidisciplinary approach to the understanding of the co-evolution of life and its environments during Early to Mid-Palaeozoic times.