A herbivore is an animal anatomically and physiologically adapted to eating plant material, for example foliage or marine algae, for the main component of its diet. As a result of their plant diet, herbivorous animals have mouthparts adapted to rasping or grinding. Horses and other herbivores have wide flat teeth that are adapted to grinding grass, tree bark, other tough plant material. A large percentage of herbivores have mutualistic gut flora that help them digest plant matter, more difficult to digest than animal prey; this flora is made up of cellulose-digesting bacteria. Herbivore is the anglicized form of a modern Latin coinage, cited in Charles Lyell's 1830 Principles of Geology. Richard Owen employed the anglicized term in an 1854 work on fossil skeletons. Herbivora is derived from the Latin herba meaning a small plant or herb, vora, from vorare, to eat or devour. Herbivory is a form of consumption in which an organism principally eats autotrophs such as plants and photosynthesizing bacteria.
More organisms that feed on autotrophs in general are known as primary consumers. Herbivory is limited to animals that eat plants. Fungi and protists that feed on living plants are termed plant pathogens, while fungi and microbes that feed on dead plants are described as saprotrophs. Flowering plants that obtain nutrition from other living plants are termed parasitic plants. There is, however, no single exclusive and definitive ecological classification of consumption patterns. In zoology, an herbivore is an animal, adapted to eat plant matter. Our understanding of herbivory in geological time comes from three sources: fossilized plants, which may preserve evidence of defence, or herbivory-related damage. Although herbivory was long thought to be a Mesozoic phenomenon, fossils have shown that within less than 20 million years after the first land plants evolved, plants were being consumed by arthropods. Insects fed on the spores of early Devonian plants, the Rhynie chert provides evidence that organisms fed on plants using a "pierce and suck" technique.
During the next 75 million years, plants evolved a range of more complex organs, such as roots and seeds. There is no evidence of any organism being fed upon until the middle-late Mississippian, 330.9 million years ago. There was a gap of 50 to 100 million years between the time each organ evolved and the time organisms evolved to feed upon them. Further than their arthropod status, the identity of these early herbivores is uncertain. Hole feeding and skeletonisation are recorded in the early Permian, with surface fluid feeding evolving by the end of that period. Herbivory among four-limbed terrestrial vertebrates, the tetrapods developed in the Late Carboniferous. Early tetrapods were large amphibious piscivores. While amphibians continued to feed on fish and insects, some reptiles began exploring two new food types and plants; the entire dinosaur order ornithischia was composed with herbivores dinosaurs. Carnivory was a natural transition from insectivory for medium and large tetrapods, requiring minimal adaptation.
In contrast, a complex set of adaptations was necessary for feeding on fibrous plant materials. Arthropods evolved herbivory in four phases, changing their approach to it in response to changing plant communities. Tetrapod herbivores made their first appearance in the fossil record of their jaws near the Permio-Carboniferous boundary 300 million years ago; the earliest evidence of their herbivory has been attributed to dental occlusion, the process in which teeth from the upper jaw come in contact with teeth in the lower jaw is present. The evolution of dental occlusion led to a drastic increase in plant food processing and provides evidence about feeding strategies based on tooth wear patterns. Examination of phylogenetic frameworks of tooth and jaw morphologes has revealed that dental occlusion developed independently in several lineages tetrapod herbivores; this suggests that evolution and spread occurred within various lineages. Herbivores form an important link in the food chain because they consume plants in order to digest the carbohydrates photosynthetically produced by a plant.
Carnivores in turn consume herbivores for the same reason, while omnivores can obtain their nutrients from either plants or animals. Due to a herbivore's ability to survive on tough and fibrous plant matter, they are termed the primary consumers in the food cycle. Herbivory and omnivory can be regarded as special cases of Consumer-Resource Systems. Herbivores come in all sizes in the animal kingdom, they include aquatic and non-aquatic vertebrates. They can be large, like an elephant. Many herbivores found living in close proximity to humans, such as rodents, cows and camels. Two herbivore feeding strategies are browsing. For a terrestrial mammal to be called a grazer, at least 90% of the forage has to be grass, for a browser at least 90% tree leaves and/or twigs. An intermediate feeding strategy is called "mixed-feeding". In their daily need to take up energy from forage, herbivores of different body mass may be selective in choosing their food. "Selective" means that herbivores may choose their forage source depending on, e.g. season or food avail
Animals are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the biological kingdom Animalia. With few exceptions, animals consume organic material, breathe oxygen, are able to move, can reproduce sexually, grow from a hollow sphere of cells, the blastula, during embryonic development. Over 1.5 million living animal species have been described—of which around 1 million are insects—but it has been estimated there are over 7 million animal species in total. Animals range in length from 8.5 millionths of a metre to 33.6 metres and have complex interactions with each other and their environments, forming intricate food webs. The category includes humans, but in colloquial use the term animal refers only to non-human animals; the study of non-human animals is known as zoology. Most living animal species are in the Bilateria, a clade whose members have a bilaterally symmetric body plan; the Bilateria include the protostomes—in which many groups of invertebrates are found, such as nematodes and molluscs—and the deuterostomes, containing the echinoderms and chordates.
Life forms interpreted. Many modern animal phyla became established in the fossil record as marine species during the Cambrian explosion which began around 542 million years ago. 6,331 groups of genes common to all living animals have been identified. Aristotle divided animals into those with those without. Carl Linnaeus created the first hierarchical biological classification for animals in 1758 with his Systema Naturae, which Jean-Baptiste Lamarck expanded into 14 phyla by 1809. In 1874, Ernst Haeckel divided the animal kingdom into the multicellular Metazoa and the Protozoa, single-celled organisms no longer considered animals. In modern times, the biological classification of animals relies on advanced techniques, such as molecular phylogenetics, which are effective at demonstrating the evolutionary relationships between animal taxa. Humans make use of many other animal species for food, including meat and eggs. Dogs have been used in hunting, while many aquatic animals are hunted for sport.
Non-human animals have appeared in art from the earliest times and are featured in mythology and religion. The word "animal" comes from the Latin animalis, having soul or living being; the biological definition includes all members of the kingdom Animalia. In colloquial usage, as a consequence of anthropocentrism, the term animal is sometimes used nonscientifically to refer only to non-human animals. Animals have several characteristics. Animals are eukaryotic and multicellular, unlike bacteria, which are prokaryotic, unlike protists, which are eukaryotic but unicellular. Unlike plants and algae, which produce their own nutrients animals are heterotrophic, feeding on organic material and digesting it internally. With few exceptions, animals breathe oxygen and respire aerobically. All animals are motile during at least part of their life cycle, but some animals, such as sponges, corals and barnacles become sessile; the blastula is a stage in embryonic development, unique to most animals, allowing cells to be differentiated into specialised tissues and organs.
All animals are composed of cells, surrounded by a characteristic extracellular matrix composed of collagen and elastic glycoproteins. During development, the animal extracellular matrix forms a flexible framework upon which cells can move about and be reorganised, making the formation of complex structures possible; this may be calcified, forming structures such as shells and spicules. In contrast, the cells of other multicellular organisms are held in place by cell walls, so develop by progressive growth. Animal cells uniquely possess the cell junctions called tight junctions, gap junctions, desmosomes. With few exceptions—in particular, the sponges and placozoans—animal bodies are differentiated into tissues; these include muscles, which enable locomotion, nerve tissues, which transmit signals and coordinate the body. There is an internal digestive chamber with either one opening or two openings. Nearly all animals make use of some form of sexual reproduction, they produce haploid gametes by meiosis.
These fuse to form zygotes, which develop via mitosis into a hollow sphere, called a blastula. In sponges, blastula larvae swim to a new location, attach to the seabed, develop into a new sponge. In most other groups, the blastula undergoes more complicated rearrangement, it first invaginates to form a gastrula with a digestive chamber and two separate germ layers, an external ectoderm and an internal endoderm. In most cases, a third germ layer, the mesoderm develops between them; these germ layers differentiate to form tissues and organs. Repeated instances of mating with a close relative during sexual reproduction leads to inbreeding depression within a population due to the increased prevalence of harmful recessive traits. Animals have evolved numerous mechanisms for avoiding close inbreeding. In some species, such as the splendid fairywren, females benefit by mating with multiple males, thus producing more offspring of higher genetic quality; some animals are capable of asexual reproduction, which results
USU Eastern Prehistoric Museum
The Prehistoric Museum, USU-Eastern known as the College of Eastern Utah Prehistoric Museum, is a museum accredited by the American Alliance of Museums located in Price, Utah. The museum seeks to promote public understanding of prehistory through interpretive exhibits, educational programs and research; the museum is located near many paleontological and archaeological sites in a region known as Castle Country, notably in the San Rafael Swell and nearby canyons throughout the Book Cliffs area such as Nine Mile Canyon and Range Creek Canyon. The Prehistoric Museum was established in 1961 as a cooperative effort by the former College of Eastern Utah and the community of Price. On May 8, 1961, the Board of Regents established the museum. At that time, funding for the museum was supplied by the geology department at the college; the museum opened to the public on June 3, 1961, on the second floor of the Price Municipal Building in a small converted conference room. After expanding into the hallways of the City Hall it moved into the old city gymnasium in 1971.
In years, the museum became an appropriated line item through the State of Utah. In 1990-91, the appropriation for the museum was increased because of the tremendous expansion of the museum. A new addition was opened to become the Hall of Dinosaurs. Through these two separate expansions during its 45-year history, the museum has become a 25,000-square-foot facility with another 6,000-square-foot repository and paleontology preparation laboratory. An ongoing program of paleontology fieldwork and excavation begun in 1990 has produced 12 new species of dinosaurs and over 7,000 paleontologic specimens. Federal and state accreditation followed in 1991, allowing the museum to reposit collections from across Utah. Renewed interest in dinosaurs and a popular culture boom brought thousands more visitors down the Dinosaur Diamond Scenic Byway and to the museum in the 1990s. New development in Utah and the renaissance in dinosaur research has resulted in new finds and an increased level of interest in the museum.
The museum now serves as an important repository housing over 750,000 prehistoric specimens from around the state. The museum's national accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums distinguishes it as fewer than 10% of museums are awarded such accreditation; as a state and federal repository for both paleontological and archaeological collections, the museum’s holdings include more than 700,000 archaeological artifacts, comprising one of the largest and most significant collections in the country. Many of these artifacts, such as those left by the indigenous Fremont people, have become world-renowned; the museum's paleontological collection includes. The collections and exhibits focus on specimens indigenous to the region and include: Fremont culture exhibits, such as rock art reproductions and the famous Pilling Figurines Comprehensive display of Utah’s Ice Age ecology and Paleoindian presence The Huntington Mammoth, best-known and one of the best-kept of all fossil elephants Utahraptor and a dozen other new dinosaurs, several percent of the known global diversity Exhibitions at the museum have included: The Other Side of Utah - a permanent exhibit that opened in 2006, it presents art that reflects the Utah area.
Rock art exhibit - including a restored pictograph panel from Horseshoe Canyon in Canyonlands National Park. Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry — Specimens collected from this site are on display at the USU Eastern Prehistoric Museum CEU Prehistoric Museum College of Eastern Utah Utah's Castle Country
China the People's Republic of China, is a country in East Asia and the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion. Covering 9,600,000 square kilometers, it is the third- or fourth-largest country by total area. Governed by the Communist Party of China, the state exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities, the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau. China emerged as one of the world's earliest civilizations, in the fertile basin of the Yellow River in the North China Plain. For millennia, China's political system was based on hereditary monarchies, or dynasties, beginning with the semi-legendary Xia dynasty in 21st century BCE. Since China has expanded, re-unified numerous times. In the 3rd century BCE, the Qin established the first Chinese empire; the succeeding Han dynasty, which ruled from 206 BC until 220 AD, saw some of the most advanced technology at that time, including papermaking and the compass, along with agricultural and medical improvements.
The invention of gunpowder and movable type in the Tang dynasty and Northern Song completed the Four Great Inventions. Tang culture spread in Asia, as the new Silk Route brought traders to as far as Mesopotamia and Horn of Africa. Dynastic rule ended in 1912 with the Xinhai Revolution; the Chinese Civil War resulted in a division of territory in 1949, when the Communist Party of China established the People's Republic of China, a unitary one-party sovereign state on Mainland China, while the Kuomintang-led government retreated to the island of Taiwan. The political status of Taiwan remains disputed. Since the introduction of economic reforms in 1978, China's economy has been one of the world's fastest-growing with annual growth rates above 6 percent. According to the World Bank, China's GDP grew from $150 billion in 1978 to $12.24 trillion by 2017. Since 2010, China has been the world's second-largest economy by nominal GDP and since 2014, the largest economy in the world by purchasing power parity.
China is the world's largest exporter and second-largest importer of goods. China is a recognized nuclear weapons state and has the world's largest standing army and second-largest defense budget; the PRC is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as it replaced the ROC in 1971, as well as an active global partner of ASEAN Plus mechanism. China is a leading member of numerous formal and informal multilateral organizations, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, WTO, APEC, BRICS, the BCIM, the G20. In recent times, scholars have argued that it will soon be a world superpower, rivaling the United States; the word "China" has been used in English since the 16th century. It is not a word used by the Chinese themselves, it has been traced through Portuguese and Persian back to the Sanskrit word Cīna, used in ancient India."China" appears in Richard Eden's 1555 translation of the 1516 journal of the Portuguese explorer Duarte Barbosa. Barbosa's usage was derived from Persian Chīn, in turn derived from Sanskrit Cīna.
Cīna was first used including the Mahābhārata and the Laws of Manu. In 1655, Martino Martini suggested that the word China is derived from the name of the Qin dynasty. Although this derivation is still given in various sources, it is complicated by the fact that the Sanskrit word appears in pre-Qin literature; the word may have referred to a state such as Yelang. The meaning transferred to China as a whole; the origin of the Sanskrit word is still a matter of debate, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. The official name of the modern state is the "People's Republic of China"; the shorter form is "China" Zhōngguó, from zhōng and guó, a term which developed under the Western Zhou dynasty in reference to its royal demesne. It was applied to the area around Luoyi during the Eastern Zhou and to China's Central Plain before being used as an occasional synonym for the state under the Qing, it was used as a cultural concept to distinguish the Huaxia people from perceived "barbarians". The name Zhongguo is translated as "Middle Kingdom" in English.
Archaeological evidence suggests that early hominids inhabited China between 2.24 million and 250,000 years ago. The hominid fossils of Peking Man, a Homo erectus who used fire, were discovered in a cave at Zhoukoudian near Beijing; the fossilized teeth of Homo sapiens have been discovered in Fuyan Cave in Hunan. Chinese proto-writing existed in Jiahu around 7000 BCE, Damaidi around 6000 BCE, Dadiwan from 5800–5400 BCE, Banpo dating from the 5th millennium BCE; some scholars have suggested. According to Chinese tradition, the first dynasty was the Xia, which emerged around 2100 BCE; the dynasty was considered mythical by historians until scientific excavations found early Bronze Age sites at Erlitou, Henan in 1959. It remains unclear whether these sites are the remains of the Xia dynasty or of another culture from the same period; the succeeding Shang dynasty is the earliest to be confirmed by contemporary records. The Shang ruled the plain of the Yellow River in eastern China from the 17th to the 11th century BCE.
Their oracle bone script
Nature is a British multidisciplinary scientific journal, first published on 4 November 1869. It is one of the most recognizable scientific journals in the world, was ranked the world's most cited scientific journal by the Science Edition of the 2010 Journal Citation Reports and is ascribed an impact factor of 40.137, making it one of the world's top academic journals. It is one of the few remaining academic journals that publishes original research across a wide range of scientific fields. Research scientists are the primary audience for the journal, but summaries and accompanying articles are intended to make many of the most important papers understandable to scientists in other fields and the educated public. Towards the front of each issue are editorials and feature articles on issues of general interest to scientists, including current affairs, science funding, scientific ethics and research breakthroughs. There are sections on books and short science fiction stories; the remainder of the journal consists of research papers, which are dense and technical.
Because of strict limits on the length of papers the printed text is a summary of the work in question with many details relegated to accompanying supplementary material on the journal's website. There are many fields of research in which important new advances and original research are published as either articles or letters in Nature; the papers that have been published in this journal are internationally acclaimed for maintaining high research standards. Fewer than 8% of submitted papers are accepted for publication. In 2007 Nature received the Prince of Asturias Award for Humanity; the enormous progress in science and mathematics during the 19th century was recorded in journals written in German or French, as well as in English. Britain underwent enormous technological and industrial changes and advances in the latter half of the 19th century. In English the most respected scientific journals of this time were the refereed journals of the Royal Society, which had published many of the great works from Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday through to early works from Charles Darwin.
In addition, during this period, the number of popular science periodicals doubled from the 1850s to the 1860s. According to the editors of these popular science magazines, the publications were designed to serve as "organs of science", in essence, a means of connecting the public to the scientific world. Nature, first created in 1869, was not the first magazine of its kind in Britain. One journal to precede Nature was Recreative Science: A Record and Remembrancer of Intellectual Observation, created in 1859, began as a natural history magazine and progressed to include more physical observational science and technical subjects and less natural history; the journal's name changed from its original title to Intellectual Observer: A Review of Natural History, Microscopic Research, Recreative Science and later to the Student and Intellectual Observer of Science and Art. While Recreative Science had attempted to include more physical sciences such as astronomy and archaeology, the Intellectual Observer broadened itself further to include literature and art as well.
Similar to Recreative Science was the scientific journal Popular Science Review, created in 1862, which covered different fields of science by creating subsections titled "Scientific Summary" or "Quarterly Retrospect", with book reviews and commentary on the latest scientific works and publications. Two other journals produced in England prior to the development of Nature were the Quarterly Journal of Science and Scientific Opinion, established in 1864 and 1868, respectively; the journal most related to Nature in its editorship and format was The Reader, created in 1864. These similar journals all failed; the Popular Science Review survived longest, lasting 20 years and ending its publication in 1881. The Quarterly Journal, after undergoing a number of editorial changes, ceased publication in 1885; the Reader terminated in 1867, Scientific Opinion lasted a mere 2 years, until June 1870. Not long after the conclusion of The Reader, a former editor, Norman Lockyer, decided to create a new scientific journal titled Nature, taking its name from a line by William Wordsworth: "To the solid ground of nature trusts the Mind that builds for aye".
First owned and published by Alexander Macmillan, Nature was similar to its predecessors in its attempt to "provide cultivated readers with an accessible forum for reading about advances in scientific knowledge." Janet Browne has proposed that "far more than any other science journal of the period, Nature was conceived and raised to serve polemic purpose." Many of the early editions of Nature consisted of articles written by members of a group that called itself the X Club, a group of scientists known for having liberal and somewhat controversial scientific beliefs relative to the time period. Initiated by Thomas Henry Huxley, the group consisted of such important scientists as Joseph Dalton Hooker, Herbert Spencer, John Tyndall, along with another five scientists and mathematicians, it was in part its scientific liberality that made Nature a longer-lasti
Grand County, Utah
Grand County is a county on the east central edge of Utah, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 9,225, its county seat and largest city is Moab. Evidence of indigenous occupation up to 10,000BCE has been seen in Grand County; the present city of Moab is the site of pueblo farming communities of the 12th centuries. These groups were vanished when the first European explorers entered the country; the European-based settlement of the area began with arrival of Mormon pioneers in 1847. By 1855 they had sent missionary-settlers into eastern Utah Territory. An Elk Mountain Mission closed after a few months due to Indian raids. For several decades thereafter, the future Moab area was visited only by prospectors. Permanaent settlement began in 1877; these early settlers, coming in from the north, encountered the deep canyon walls of the Grand River and were unable to take wagons over, or around, the steep canyon walls. They dismantled the wagons and lowered them by rope to the river valley.
They drove their oxen over a canyon rim, down deep sand dunes. After the wagons were reassembled and supplies reloaded, they made their way through the deep sand to the river, they found a place to ford the river, below the present bridge in north Moab. They established a ferry at the crossing site, which remained in use until the first bridge was built in 1921. In 1881 the area was known as Grand Valley, Moab was a "wild west" town. A 1991 visitor to Moab said it was known as the toughest town in Utah because the area and surrounding country has many deep canyons, rivers and wilderness areas, becoming a hideout for outlaws; the local economy was based on farming and livestock. Mining came in at the end of the 19th century, the railroad arrived; the first school in the county was started in 1881. Mormon settlers began planting fruit trees by 1879, by 1910 Moab was a significant fruit-production center. Due to the distances involved, the settlers of eastern Emery County found it difficult to conduct county business in that county's seat.
By March 13, 1890 their petitions caused the Utah Territory legislature to designate the eastern portion of the county as a separate entity, to be named Grand County, named for the Grand River. The county boundaries were adjusted in 1892 and in 2003. Exploration for deep petroleum deposits began in the 1920s, this industry has made significant contribution to the economy since that time. Other significant industries include uranium mining, filmmaking. Grand County lies on the east side of Utah, its east border abuts the west border of the state of Colorado. The Green River flows southward through the eastern part of central Utah, its meandering course defines the western border of Grand County; the Colorado River enters the east side of Grand County from Colorado, flowing southwestward toward its confluence with the Green in San Juan County, south of Grand. The Dolores River enters Grand County from Colorado, flowing westward to its confluence with the Colorado River near Dewey. Grand County terrain is arid and spectacularly carved by water and wind erosion, exposing red rock formations that have created a solid tourist industry.
The area is little used for agriculture. The terrain is filled with hills and protuberances, but slopes to the south and to the west, its highest point is Mount Waas in the SE part of the county, at 12,336' ASL. The county has a total area of 3,684 square miles, of which 3,672 square miles is land and 12 square miles is water. Deserts and plateaus make up the scenery, with few settlements apart from the city of Moab, a Colorado River oasis. Arches National Park lies in the southern part of the county, just north of Moab. A northern portion of Canyonlands National Park lies in the southwest corner of the county. Canyonlands Field northwest of Moab United States Interstate I-70 US-191 Utah State Highway UT-128 Utah State Highway UT-313 Pace Lake As of the 2000 United States Census, there were 8,485 people, 3,434 households, 2,170 families in the county; the population density was 2.31/sqmi. There were 4,062 housing units at an average density of 1.11/sqmi. The racial makeup of the county was 92.65% White, 0.25% Black or African American, 3.85% Native American, 0.22% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 1.66% from other races, 1.32% from two or more races.
5.55% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. There were 3,434 households out of which 29.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.60% were married couples living together, 10.70% had a female householder with no husband present, 36.80% were non-families. 29.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.50% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.06. The county population contained 26.90% under the age of 18, 8.20% from 18 to 24, 27.90% from 25 to 44, 24.50% from 45 to 64, 12.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 96.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.10 males. The median income for a household in the county was $32,387, the median income for a family was $39,095. Males had a median income of $31,000 versus $21,769 for females; the per capita income for the county was $17,356. About 10.90% of families and 14.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.20% of those under age 18 and 8.40% of those age 65 or over.
Grand County has
The Devonian is a geologic period and system of the Paleozoic, spanning 60 million years from the end of the Silurian, 419.2 million years ago, to the beginning of the Carboniferous, 358.9 Mya. It is named after Devon, where rocks from this period were first studied; the first significant adaptive radiation of life on dry land occurred during the Devonian. Free-sporing vascular plants began to spread across dry land, forming extensive forests which covered the continents. By the middle of the Devonian, several groups of plants had evolved leaves and true roots, by the end of the period the first seed-bearing plants appeared. Various terrestrial arthropods became well-established. Fish reached substantial diversity during this time, leading the Devonian to be dubbed the "Age of Fishes." The first ray-finned and lobe-finned bony fish appeared, while the placoderms began dominating every known aquatic environment. The ancestors of all four-limbed vertebrates began adapting to walking on land, as their strong pectoral and pelvic fins evolved into legs.
In the oceans, primitive sharks became more numerous than in the Late Ordovician. The first ammonites, species of molluscs, appeared. Trilobites, the mollusc-like brachiopods and the great coral reefs, were still common; the Late Devonian extinction which started about 375 million years ago affected marine life, killing off all placodermi, all trilobites, save for a few species of the order Proetida. The palaeogeography was dominated by the supercontinent of Gondwana to the south, the continent of Siberia to the north, the early formation of the small continent of Euramerica in between; the period is named after Devon, a county in southwestern England, where a controversial argument in the 1830s over the age and structure of the rocks found distributed throughout the county was resolved by the definition of the Devonian period in the geological timescale. The Great Devonian Controversy was a long period of vigorous argument and counter-argument between the main protagonists of Roderick Murchison with Adam Sedgwick against Henry De la Beche supported by George Bellas Greenough.
Murchison and Sedgwick named the period they proposed as the Devonian System. While the rock beds that define the start and end of the Devonian period are well identified, the exact dates are uncertain. According to the International Commission on Stratigraphy, the Devonian extends from the end of the Silurian 419.2 Mya, to the beginning of the Carboniferous 358.9 Mya. In nineteenth-century texts the Devonian has been called the "Old Red Age", after the red and brown terrestrial deposits known in the United Kingdom as the Old Red Sandstone in which early fossil discoveries were found. Another common term is "Age of the Fishes", referring to the evolution of several major groups of fish that took place during the period. Older literature on the Anglo-Welsh basin divides it into the Downtonian, Dittonian and Farlovian stages, the latter three of which are placed in the Devonian; the Devonian has erroneously been characterised as a "greenhouse age", due to sampling bias: most of the early Devonian-age discoveries came from the strata of western Europe and eastern North America, which at the time straddled the Equator as part of the supercontinent of Euramerica where fossil signatures of widespread reefs indicate tropical climates that were warm and moderately humid but in fact the climate in the Devonian differed during its epochs and between geographic regions.
For example, during the Early Devonian, arid conditions were prevalent through much of the world including Siberia, North America, China, but Africa and South America had a warm temperate climate. In the Late Devonian, by contrast, arid conditions were less prevalent across the world and temperate climates were more common; the Devonian Period is formally broken into Early and Late subdivisions. The rocks corresponding to those epochs are referred to as belonging to the Lower and Upper parts of the Devonian System. Early DevonianThe Early Devonian lasted from 419.2 ± 2.8 to 393.3 ± 2.5 and began with the Lochkovian stage, which lasted until the Pragian. It spanned from 410.8 ± 2.8 to 407.6 ± 2.5, was followed by the Emsian, which lasted until the Middle Devonian began, 393.3± 2.7 million years ago. During this time, the first ammonoids appeared. Ammonoids during this time period differed little from their nautiloid counterparts; these ammonoids belong to the order Agoniatitida, which in epochs evolved to new ammonoid orders, for example Goniatitida and Clymeniida.
This class of cephalopod molluscs would dominate the marine fauna until the beginning of the Mesozoic era. Middle DevonianThe Middle Devonian comprised two subdivisions: first the Eifelian, which gave way to the Givetian 387.7± 2.7 million years ago. During this time the jawless agnathan fishes began to decline in diversity in freshwater and marine environments due to drastic environmental changes and due to the increasing competition and diversity of jawed fishes; the shallow, oxygen-depleted waters of Devonian inland lakes, surrounded by primitive plants, provided the environment necessary for certain early fish to develop such essential characteristics as well developed lungs, the ability to crawl out of the water and onto the land for short periods of time. Late DevonianFinally, the Late Devonian started with the Frasnian, 382.7 ± 2.8 to 372.2 ± 2.5, during which the first forests took shape on land. The first tetrapods appeared in the fossil record in the ensuing Famennian subdivisi