During Devonian and Carboniferous times, the constantly but slowly moving continents were beginning to move closer to one another ultimately forming the single supercontinent of Pangaea.(dinosaur equipment) As the continents converged and collided they threw up massive mountain ranges along their edges. Vigorous weathering cut into these mountains and huge amounts of eroded debris, such as sand and silr, was washed into the surrounding shallow seas, building up vast areas of deltas and swamps.
This geographical activity coincided with the first widespread development of plant life, and soon these deltas and swamps were clothed in early plantlife, such as forests of ferns, giant horse-tails and huge trees that were the relatives of the present day s insignificant club mosses. (Dinosaur Playground Equipment)In the shallow wccd-choked waters and moist undergrowth land-living amphibians and the first egg-laying reptiles thrived.
The unstable nature of the deltas – their frequent inundation by the sea and their subsequent re-building – led to a cyclical sequence of sediments, in which marine sediments were followed by river sediments, followed by sediments that formed dry land, followed by marine sediments again.(Artificial Dinosaur) The prolific growth of plants at these times produced thick beds of peat that eventually became seams of coal when the whole sequence solidified into rocks.
The first animals to inhabit this swampy environment were land-living arthropods such as insects. (dinosaur exhibition equipment)Over time vertebrates left the water and evolved into land-living animals, using this insect fauna as a food resource.
The abundant animal life of the time is found as fossils in various parts of the rock sequence.
Rock sequences such as these arc today found throughout the traditional coal-mining areas of Europe and North America.