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PALEOZOIC ERA

CARBONIFEROUS PERIOD

318 million years ago

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By the end of the Mississippian, ancestral anapsid reptiles had become better adapted to terrestrial environments.

The Carboniferous Peroid of the Paleozoic Era is divided into two subdivisions: the Mississippian (359 to 318 million years ago) and the Pennsylvanian (318 to 299 million years ago). The first amniotes (reptiles) evolved from amphibians which had gradually increased their adaptations to terrestrial environments during the Mississippian. By the end of the Mississippian, ancestral anapsid reptiles had become progressively better adapted to life on land. In the Pennsylvanian, two groups of advanced amniotes would evolve from these primitive anapsids: the ancestral diapsids (whose descendants would include lizards, snakes, crocodiles, pterosaurs, a variety of marine reptiles, dinosaurs, and birds) and the ancestral synapsids (whose descendants consist of mammals and a variety of extinct lineages.