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Permian. Greg Daviduck & Alex Dreger. The Permian Time Period.

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Greg Daviduck & Alex Dreger

the permian time period
The Permian Time Period
  • The Permian time period is a geologic period that consists of many land vertebrates by the diversification of early amniotes. This period also consists of many mammals, turtles, lepidosaurs, and archosaurs. This is the last period of the Palaeozoic era and is very famous for how it ended in the largest mass extinction known to science. This period was named after the kingdom of permia. It was named by the Scottish geologist Roderick Murchison in 1841.
landforms continent position
Landforms & Continent position
  • During the Permian period all of earths major land masses were collected in a huge super continent called Pangaea. This land mass included everything except parts of east Asia. Pangaea was located on the equator and extended towards the north and south pole, with a significant effect on ocean currents in the single giant ocean.
  • Deserts on Pangaea were widespread. These harsh dry conditions favoured, gymnosperms, plants with enclosed seeds that had a protective cover. Other plants such as ferns that disperse spores were common. The first trees as we know them today appeared in the Permian period.
major distinctive events
Major Distinctive Events
  • The Cimmeria rifted causing it to move away from Gondwana and then drifted north to Laurasia. This in turn caused the Paleo-Tethys to shrink
  • The Tethys Ocean was a new ocean that was starting to grow on pangeas southern end. This ocean would dominate most of the Mesozoic era.
  • There are three areas that are especially looked at for their large Permian deposits. Some of these are the Ural mountains, china, and the southwest of north America. The Permian basin in Texas is named that way because it has one of the largest and thickest deposits of Permian rocks in the world.
permian mass extinction
Permian Mass Extinction
  • The Permian period ended with one of the most extreme and large extinctions ever recorded in the world of palaeontology. Called the Permian-Triassic extinction event. In this time 90%-95% of the marine species went extinct, as well as 70% of the land organisms. This extinction is also the only known huge extinction of insects. On the whole perhaps as many as 99.5% of different organisms died as a result. It took land organisms 30M years to recover from this. There is a huge amount of evidence that flood basalt eruptions from magma output lasting thousands of years contributed to environmental stress helping the mass extinction. That happened in what is know known as the Siberian traps.
  • As the Permian opened, the Earth was still in the grip of an ice age, so the polar regions were covered with deep layers of ice.  Glaciers continued to cover much of Gondwanaland (one of the continents of Pangea), as they had during the late Carboniferous.  At the same time the tropics were covered in swampy forests.
  • Towards the middle of the period the climate became warmer and milder, the glaciers receded, and the continental interiors became drier.  Much of the interior of Pangea was probably arid, with great seasonal fluctuations (wet and dry seasons), because of the lack of the moderating effect of nearby bodies of water.  This drying tendency continued through to the late Permian, along with alternating warming and cooling periods.

Coral is a marine organism that is made up of millions of smaller genetically identical polyps

They secrete calcium carbonate to for a hard exoskeleton

Most corals depend on sunlight therefore they tend to grow in shallow water and often bond together to form reefs


Trilobites are hard shelled, segmented creatures that lived between The Cambrian period and survived up to the Permian period

Trilobites were widely spread their fossils are found across every continent in the world


Gastropods were the largest and the most successful of the molluscs classes

They have developed aggressive eating mechanism and pulmonary systems

The early Gastropods had spiral shells that resembled a curled garden hose


Belemnites were squid-like carnivores with a soft body around an internal, pencil-shaped shell

The cuttlefish is the modern-day relative of the belemnite

Belemnites were efficient carnivores that caught small fish and marine animals with their tentacles, and ate them with their beak-like jaws

Their tentacles were different to the modern squid, as they had hooks instead of suckers to grab prey

They were built for speed and probably lived in shoals


A mollusk, such as an oyster or a clam, that has a shell consisting of two hinged valves

Bivalves have no head. They feed on phytoplankton by pumping water across the gills and trapping food particles that are then moved to the mouth


These crinoids resemble plants, with their fronds, stems, and roots anchoring them to the rocks. Yet crinoids are animals, organisms with a nervous system, and the larvae are capable of swimming freely before metamorphosing to the sessile form seen in this photo.


Brachiopods make up one of the major animal types. Also known as lamp shells, they are sessile, two-shelled, marine animals that somewhat resemble "clams" externally but are quite different internally.

Unlike bivalves, which have a left shell and a right shell, brachiopods are always bilaterally symmetric, although the top and bottom shells usually differ in shape.


By the Pennsylvanian and well into the Permian, by far the most successful were primitive relatives of cockroaches. Six fast legs, two well developed folding wings, fairly good eyes, long, well developed antennae (olfactory), an omnivorous digestive system, a receptacle for storing sperm, a chitin skeleton that could support and protect, as well as form of gizzard and efficient mouth parts, gave it formidable advantages over other herbivorous animals. About 90% of insects were cockroach-like insects

amphibians and reptiles

Early Permian terrestrial faunas were dominated by pelycosaurs and amphibians, the middle Permian by primitive therapsids such as the dinocephalia, and the late Permian by more advanced therapsids such as gorgonopsians and dicynodonts. Towards the very end of the Permian the first archosaurs appeared, a group that would give rise to the dinosaurs in the following period. Also appearing at the end of the Permian were the first cynodonts, which would go on to evolve into mammals during the Triassic. Another group of therapsids, the therocephalians (such as Trochosaurus), arose in the Middle Permian. There were no aerial vertebrates.

ferns and conifers
Ferns and Conifers
  • At the beginning of the Permian Period, ferns and seed-ferns were the dominant plant life.  As the climate grew drier, these simpler plants were replaced by more complex plants, such as conifers and ginkgoes.