Geologic Time Scale: Carboniferous Period
(358.9 to 289.9 million years ago)
The Carboniferous Period (Age of Amphibians) name means “coal” and “bearer,carrier”, refers to the many coal beds formed globally during that time. The first modern ‘system’ names, it was coined by geologists William Conybeare (English geologist, paleontologist, and clergyman-best known for his ground breaking work on fossil excavation in the 1820s and papers for the Geological Society of London on ichthyosaur anatomy and the first published scientific description of a plesiosaur) and William Phillips (English mineralogist and geologist) in 1822, based on a study of the British rock succession. The Carboniferous is often treated in North America as two geological periods, the earlier Mississippian and the later Pennsylvanian.