The fossils of early insects have been found in abundance and we can superimpose
their distribution patterns upon those of the coal-bed areas with great accuracy.
The first significant appearance of insects came in the late Carboniferous, round
about 300 million years ago, but they had first evolved in the Devonian Period -
some 100 million years earlier. By Early Carboniferous, 15 Orders of insects were
represented in Euro-America (Brauckmann et al 1995).
This was the era of the amphibian tetrapods - the Temnospondyli. They were salamander
like animals, many with curious large flat heads - the significance of which is still
not understood. Temnospondyls occurred in all areas along the Carboniferous Palaeoequator
described above. Most notably in Spain (Puertollano Basin), Ireland - cochleosaurids
- described by Seguira (1996), Scotland at the East Kirkton Site, West Lothian (Milner
and Sequira 1994) and Nova Scotia. Other cochleosaurid types of temnospondyls have
been found in North Pennsylvania (Berman et al 2010) and Linton Ohio.
The Pangaean Earth Poles
This equatorial line establishes the North Pole at the remote eastern peninsula of
Russia, while the South Pole is centred around the Sudan border with Central African
So what was the coldest part on Pangaean Earth is now perhaps the hottest part of
the World, the Sahara.
Palaeomagnetic Results confirm these Pole positions
When magma rises to the surface or near surface of the Earth during volcanism or
intrusion, it eventually cools and crystallises. The dipoles become orientated in
the direction of the magnetic field at that time. Like a magnetic tape on a tape
recorder, the palaeo-magnetic field is recorded in the rock’s remanence (residual
magnetism). Knowing the age of the rocks (through isotopic dating) we can use these
magnetic orientations to determine the polar positions at that time.
The angle between the magnetic pole and the geographic pole is known as the angle
Many rocks have been analysed and their magnetic orientation recorded and so information
is available for rocks of each geological period. The polarity of the poles reverses
quite frequently and so the North pole quite often registers as being in the South.
Kainan Huang and N.D. Opdyke measured the remanent magnetic orientation of rocks
in upper Carboniferous basaltic Woniusi Formation in Western Yunnan, China as being
209 degrees and confirmed readings by previous workers. This angle of declination
is in agreement with the Pangaean model but puts the north pole, rather than the
South pole at the Sudan/Chad border in Africa.
The Carboniferous palaeo-equator and the present equator line intersect each other
off the west coast of Africa at an angle of 85 degrees, putting them almost perpendicular
to each other.