Paper 59— The Marine-Life Era on Urantia — Page 678

in the more favorable locations the primitive water scorpions first evolve. Soon thereafter, and suddenly, the true scorpions—actual air breathers—make their appearance.

These developments terminate the third marine-life period, covering twenty-five million years and known to your researchers as the Silurian.


In the agelong struggle between land and water, for long periods the sea has been comparatively victorious, but times of land victory are just ahead. And the continental drifts have not proceeded so far but that, at times, practically all of the land of the world is connected by slender isthmuses and narrow land bridges.

As the land emerges from the last Silurian inundation, an important period in world development and life evolution comes to an end. It is the dawn of a new age on earth. The naked and unattractive landscape of former times is becoming clothed with luxuriant verdure, and the first magnificent forests will soon appear.

The marine life of this age was very diverse due to the early species segregation, but later on there was free commingling and association of all these different types. The brachiopods early reached their climax, being succeeded by the arthropods, and barnacles made their first appearance. But the greatest event of all was the sudden appearance of the fish family. This became the age of fishes, that period of the world's history characterized by the vertebrate type of animal.

270,000,000 years ago the continents were all above water. In millions upon millions of years not so much land had been above water at one time; it was one of the greatest land-emergence epochs in all world history.

Five million years later the land areas of North and South America, Europe, Africa, northern Asia, and Australia were briefly inundated, in North America the submergence at one time or another being almost complete; and the resulting limestone layers run from 500 to 5,000 feet in thickness. These various Devonian seas extended first in one direction and then in another so that the immense arctic North American inland sea found an outlet to the Pacific Ocean through northern California.

260,000,000 years ago, toward the end of this land-depression epoch, North America was partially overspread by seas having simultaneous connection with the Pacific, Atlantic, Arctic, and Gulf waters. The deposits of these later stages of the first Devonian flood average about one thousand feet in thickness. The coral reefs characterizing these times indicate that the inland seas were clear and shallow. Such coral deposits are exposed in the banks of the Ohio River near Louisville, Kentucky, and are about one hundred feet thick, embracing more than two hundred varieties. These coral formations extend through Canada and northern Europe to the arctic regions.

Following these submergences, many of the shore lines were considerably elevated so that the earlier deposits were covered by mud or shale. There is also