Paleozoic Life

Hierarchy of Life

  1. Kingdom: Protoctista
    1. Radiolaria
    2. Foraminifera
      • Fusulinids
  2. Kingdom: Animalia
    1. Archaeocyathids
      • Archaeo = ancient
      • Cyathid = cup
      • first Bioherms in the Cambrian
    2. Porifera = sponges
      • cup shaped organisms
      • Stromatoporoids - biohermal structures - Middle Ordovician
    3. Cnidaria - simplest metazoans, tissue
      Coelenterates =
      • Coel = hollow
      • Enteron = gut)
      1. Alternation of generation
        1. polyp
        2. medusa
      2. Major groups
        1. Hydrazoa
        2. Scyphozoa = jellyfish
        3. Anthozoa = corals
          1. Tabulate corals
          2. Rugose corals
          3. Scleractinian corals
    4. "Worms"
      1. Flat worms
      2. Round worms
    5. Bryozoa - "moss animals"
    6. Brachiopods
      • Brachio = arm
      • pod = foot
      1. Inarticulates
      2. Articulates
    7. Mollusca
      • mollis = soft
      • ca(dav) = body
      1. Monoplacophora
      2. Scaphopods
      3. Bivalves
        • Pelecypods -
          • pelecy = hatchet
          • pod = pod
      4. Amphineura
        • Polyplacophorans
        • Chitons
      5. Gastropods
        • gastro = stomach
        • pod = foot
      6. Cephalopods
        • cephal = head
        • pod = foot
        1. Nautiloid Cephalopods
        2. Ammonoid Cephalopods
          1. Goniatite = Dev - Perm
          2. Ceratite = Perm - Trias.
          3. Ammonite = Tria. - Cret.
        3. Coleoids
          1. Belemnoids
          2. Sepioids = Cuttlefish
          3. Teuthoids = Squids
          4. Octopods
    8. Advanced "worms"
      1. Annelids - segmented worms
      2. Onycophora
          Aysheaia
    9. Arthropods
      • Arthro = jointed
      • pod = pod
      1. Trilobites - 3 lobes
      2. Crustaceans
        • ostracods
        • Lobsters
        • Crabs
        • Shrimp
      3. Chelicerates
        • Eurypterids
        • Horse-shoe crabs
        • Arachnids
      4. Uniramia
        • Insects
        • Centipedes
        • Millipedes
    10. Echinoderms
      • Echino = spiny
      • derm = skin
      1. Asteroids - starfish
      2. Ophiuroids - brittle stars
      3. Crinoids
      4. Blastoids
      5. Echinoids
        • Sea urchins
        • Sand dollars
    11. Hemichordata
      • Graptolites
    12. Pre-Chordates
      • Conodonts

Table Comparing Invertebrates with Chordates


Cambrian System

  1. Chengjian fossil of China
  2. Burgess Shale - British Columbia
    1. Charles Walcott
    2. Strata of the Burgess Shale
    3. Life found of the Burgess Shale
      1. Arthropods - Marrella
      2. Sponges
      3. Onycophorans - Aysheaia
      4. Echinoderms
        1. Crinoids
        2. Sea cucumbers
      5. Chordates - Pikaia

Index fossil of the Paleozoic

Fossils with asterisks (*) are the main index fossil for that system you should know.

Cambrian -

  1. Trilobites (Age of Trilobites) *
  2. Archeocyathids

Ordovician

  1. Graptolites *
  2. Gastropods
  3. Brachiopods

Silurian

  1. Eurypterids *
  2. Tabulate Coral
  3. Brachiopods
  4. Silurian Reef on the Internet

Devonian

  1. Sponge
  2. Brachiopods - Mucrospirifer
  3. Rugose coral
  4. Trilobite - Phacops
  5. Placoderms * -

Mississippian

  1. Crinoids *
  2. Blastoids - Pentremites
  3. Bryozoa - Archimedes
  4. Ammonoid Cephalopods

Pennsylvanian

  1. Marine Index Fossil
    1. Fusulinids *- Triticites
    2. Brachiopods
    3. Gastropods - Worthenia, Trepospira, Euphemites
    4. Nautiloid Cephalopods
  2. Land index fossils
    1. Lycopsids *
    2. Seed ferns *

Permian

  1. Marine Index Fossil
    1. Fusulinids *- Pseudoschwagerina
    2. Ammonoid Cephalopods
    3. Brachiopods
  2. Land index fossils
    1. Amphibians *
      • Age of Amphibians

Paleozoic Bioherms

  1. Stomatolites - Cyanobacteria - Late Proterozoic
  2. Archeocyathids - Cambrian
  3. Stromatoporoids - Middle Ordovician
  4. Tabulate coral - Ordovician - Silurian
  5. Bryozoa - Ordovician
  6. Rugose coral - Devonian
  7. Brachiopods - Permian
  8. Rudistid Clams - Cretaceous
  9. Scleractinian coral - Jurassic - recent

Conical Shape - Convergence

  1. Archeocyathids
  2. Rugose coral
  3. Brachiopods
  4. Rudistid clams
  5. Scleractinian coral

Paleozoic Extinction Events

  1. Ordovician
  2. Devonian
  3. Permian

Permian Extinctions:

  1. Trilobites
  2. (Rugose) and Tabulate coral
  3. Goniatite Ammonoids
  4. Eurypterids
  5. most groups of crinoids
  6. Blastoids
  7. several groups of Brachiopods
  8. several groups of Bryozoa

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