We are in Nowhere Wood, about 300 million years ago, staring at a forest of tree ferns, watching them make oxygen. Over the years, these tree ferns have made so much oxygen that its concentration in the air has risen to about 35%, (compare that with the 21% found in the 21st century).
There is so much oxygen that the lightning strikes produce frequent explosions in the air, causing forest fires. Nowhere Wood is a dangerous place to be, sometimes.
The animals are using the oxygen to grown large: some millipedes are 1.5 metres in length and 0.5 metres wide. Some dragonflies have 70 cm wingspans.
With all of this food available, there are opportunities for new carnivorous lizards to appear, including Hylonomus. This is one of the first creatures to have a new eggs with membranes inside, a characteristic later shown by all birds.
Also the flesh-eating Anthracosaurs first appeared at this time. These are the direct ancestors of the dinosaurs, that appeared millions of years later.
In Nowhere Wood, everything is connected together, in space and in time.
So many adventures in space and time, so much opportunity for the evolution of new forms. All of which depends on the formation of sandstone in Nowhere Wood.
- Imagine what it was like to live in Nowhere Wood 300 million years ago. What would be the same and what would be different.
- How do you think the world will change in the future?