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:: Home > The People > Biological Legacy: A timeline > Carboniferous


million years ago

300 Million Years Ago

During the Carboniferous Geologic Period, from 345 to 280 million years ago, warm seas still covered much, if not all, of Oregon. Forests of tree ferns and seed ferns covered any exposed land. Seed ferns are really primitive gymnosperms*, like the modern-day conifer trees. Amphibians and insects became common. Volcanoes in northeastern and southwestern Oregon were active... the birth of more land.

*Gymnosperm is the botanical name for the group of flowering plants that give rise to seeds not enclosed in an ovary. A pine tree is a gymnosperm (small naked seeds that develop inside a pine cone), whereas an apple tree is not (seed is inside the apple, the meat of the apple arising from the ovary of the fertilized flower).

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