Part 2

Part 2

Storyboard Text

  • Earth's been around for approximately 4.6 billion years, and for most of that time, microscopic single-celled organisms were the only living things. However, as soon as the Paleozoic era began around half a billion years ago, numerous complex life forms in the oceans and on land began to show.
  • By the time the Permian had begun, which is where we are now, ecosystems became fully terrestrial water-independent land ecosystems. These ecosystems would continue to grow until KABOOM, they faced the largest extinction ever in history.
  • Well, you're lucky we landed in the desert area. When the Permian period began, the Ice Age that began in the later Carboniferous is still ongoing. That means if we were anywhere near the South Pole, we would see that it is covered in ice sheets.
  • What's neat is that right now, we stand on the supercontinent of Pangea.
  • Okay this is kinda neat.
  • Okay that's neat too but it's so hot I think I might just die, we should go back.
  • Oh, it's good that you brought that up! I almost forgot. Here's the thing, because of the proliferation of land plants all across the world during the Carboniferous, the atmospheric oxygen levels are at their highest ever point in the Earth's history, at about 35% of the atmosphere, compared to today's 21%.
  • I. CAN'T. BREATHE. I'M THAT TIRED. TAKE ME BACK NOW DOC! NOW.
  • Interestingly enough, the rate at which Earth spins has slowed down quite a bit since the start of the Paleozoic period. That means that days are under 23 hours, and sea levels are more than 200 feet higher than they are from our time, Marty.
  • Well, that’s because most of Pangaea is filled with dry areas because there was a distinct seasonal reversal of winds, which caused extreme transitions between dry and wet periods throughout the year. This led to immensely arid regions along the interior regions of the continent. The equatorial region of the continent became drier through the end of the Carboniferous.
  • Oh well if there’s that much water, WHY IS IT SO HOT? Does the water not know how to reflect heat back into space or whatever right now?
  • Well, I’m glad you brought that up too because of the high oxygen levels, gigantic insects and various other arthropods are everywhere. Predatory griffinflies, to name one, which are giant dragonfly-like insects with wingspans of up to 28 inches are quite common during this time period.
  • Doc, I need you to stop yelling. Stay calm there’s a giant dragonfly looking thing that's about to eat my head. It’s flying right above us.
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