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Three strata of toadstone had been found, and the limestone under the third was as far as miners had reached. The map project describes the "shallow tropical sea surrounded by coral reefs" in which the limestones were laid down and how "subterranean volcanoes erupted spasmodically through the sea floor, covering the limestones with ash and lava" which formed the toadstone.

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The end-Frasnian extinction was most pronounced in tropical environments, particularly in the reefs of the shallow seas.

Reef building sponges called stromatoporoids and corals suffered losses and stromatoporoids finally disappeared in the third extinction near the end of the Devonian.

It mentions the following periods to indicate how long ago coal was formed: Carboniferous followed by 359,200,000 - 326,400,000 years ago Dinantian series or epoch from the Lower Carboniferous system in Europe 326,400,000 to 313,400,000 years ago Namurian stage in the regional stratigraphy of northwest Europe are found - Silicious Grit, providing stone for building and millstones - Shale - then lime-stone and toadstone alternately.

The veins of metallic ores appeared in the limestone.

By carboniferous [carbon bearing] soils, Richard Kirwan in 1799 meant the "various sorts of earth or stone among or under which coal is usually found".

William Daniel Conybeare and William Phillips (1822, page vii) proposed to consider all rocks in an ascending order with a group including "not only the great coal-deposit itself, but those of the limestone and sandstone also on which it reposes" as the "medial" [middle] order.

He began to do this in 1866 in the General Morphology. about 419,2000,000 to 393,300,000 years ago Early Devonian The vegetation of the early Devonian consisted primarily of small plants, the tallest being only a meter tall.

By the end of the Devonian, "The earth's atmosphere was changing rapidly, going from perhaps 10 percent to 1 percent CO2 and from about 5 percent to 20 percent oxygen over a 50- million year period in the (late) Devonian period.

"More than 3.5 billion years ago, small single-celled organisms acquired the capacity to photosynthesize" "Plants were restricted to the aquatic world until three billion years later, the first uncontroversial evidence for life is found 2,700,000,000 years ago.

The reference relates to sulphate and iron reduction as early forms of microbial respiration.

The end-Frasnian extinction (the largest) about 375 million years ago.

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