Euramerica

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Euramerica (also known as Laurussia which is not to be confused with Laurasia, the Old Red Continent or the Old Red Sandstone Continent) was a minor supercontinent created in the Devonian as the result of a collision between the Laurentian, Baltica, and Avalonia cratons during the Caledonian orogeny, 433 million years ago. In the Late Carboniferous, tropical rainforests lay over the equator of Euramerica. A major, abrupt change in vegetation occurred when the climate aridified. The forest fragmented and the lycopsids which dominated these wetlands thinned out, being replaced by opportunistic ferns. There was also a great loss of amphibian diversity and simultaneously the drier climate spurred the diversification of reptiles.[1]

Extent

Euramerica in the Devonian

Euramerica became a part of the major supercontinent Pangaea in the Permian. In the Jurassic, when Pangaea rifted into two continents, Gondwana and Laurasia, Euramerica was a part of Laurasia.

In the Cretaceous, Laurasia split into the continents of North America and Eurasia. The Laurentian craton became a part of North America while Baltica became a part of Eurasia, and Avalonia was split between the two.

Events by period

  • Carboniferous: Climate change devastated tropical rainforests, fragmenting the forests into isolated 'islands' and causing the extinction of many plant and animal species during the Carboniferous Rainforest Collapse (CRC).
  • Permian: Euramerica became a part of the supercontinent Pangaea.
  • Jurassic: Pangaea rifted into Gondwana and Laurasia.
  • Cretaceous: Laurasia split into the continents of North America, Europe and Asia.

See also

References

  1. ^ Sahney, Sarda; Benton, Michael J.; Falcon-Lang, Howard J. (2010). "Rainforest collapse triggered Pennsylvanian tetrapod diversification in Euramerica" (PDF). Geology. 38 (12): 1079–1082. doi:10.1130/G31182.1. 

External links

  • Palaeos Earth: Geography: Euramerica
  • Paleogeographic globe of the Devonian Earth


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