Carboniferous Period FACT FILE

The Carboniferous is a geologic period and system that extends from the end of the Devonian Period, about 358.9 ± 0.4 million years ago, to the beginning of the Permian Period, about 298.9 ± 0.15 Ma.

The Carboniferous began following the Late Devonian mass extiction event.


The formation of Pangea marked the end of the Carboniferous Period.

A new group of tetrapods, the diapsids, enters the scene. These are the ancestors of reptiles, and actually the diapsids divides into two groups:

1.  marine reptiles, snakes, and lizards and

2.  the archosuars, which includes crocodiles, dinosaurs and birds.


Amphibians also flourish. The major ancient amphibian groups appear.


The BBC Nature website has a very good section on the Carboniferous.  


Use this button to visit the BBC Nature website:

*Based on 'The Geologic Time Scale 2012' by F M Gradstein, J G Ogg, M Schmitz & G Ogg (2012), with additions. Credit: British Geological Survey