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[pey-lee-uh-zoh-ik or, esp. British, pal-ee-] /ˌpeɪ li əˈzoʊ ɪk or, esp. British, ˌpæl i-/ Geology
noting or pertaining to an era occurring between 570 million and 230 million years ago, characterized by the advent of fish, insects, and reptiles.
the Paleozoic Era or group of systems.
Origin of Paleozoic
1830-40; paleo- + -zoic < Greek zōïkós pertaining to animals; see zo-, -ic
Related forms
post-Paleozoic, adjective
pre-Paleozoic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for Paleozoic
Historical Examples
  • It occurs mainly in veins and irregular deposits in limestone of Paleozoic Age closely associated with certain igneous rocks.

    Geology William J. Miller
  • They existed only during the first half of the Paleozoic era.

    Geology William J. Miller
  • Paleozoic means "ancient life;" Mesozoic, "middle life;" Cenozoic, "recent life."

    Famous Men of Science Sarah K. Bolton
  • Cambrian , the first period of the Paleozoic era,—that of the first abundance of marine animals.

    Unexplored! Allen Chaffee
  • Indeed, as in North America, the submergence has decreased on the average since the Paleozoic era.

    Climatic Changes Ellsworth Huntington
  • See what it means to tell these kids about the Paleozoic age and sich, Ruthie!

  • In Europe the wonderful records of Paleozoic history are found in strata, whose estimated maximum thickness is about 100,000 feet!

    Geology William J. Miller
  • This is called the "Paleozoic" period, which means the period of "ancient life."

  • Paleodictyoptera: an ordinal name suggested by Scudder for Paleozoic insects which cannot be assigned to existing orders.

  • The class Mammalia, to which man belongs, had no representative on the earth during the extended Paleozoic time.

    The Prehistoric World E. A. Allen
Word Origin and History for Paleozoic

in reference to the geological era between the Precambrian and the Mesozoic, 1838, coined by Adam Sedgwick (1785-1873) from paleo- + Greek zoe "life."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Paleozoic in Science
The era of geologic time from about 540 to 245 million years ago. The beginning of the Paleozoic Era is characterized by a great diversity of marine invertebrate animals. Primitive fish and reptiles, land plants, and insects also first appeared during this time. The end of the Paleozoic is marked by the largest recorded mass extinction in the Earth's history, which wiped out nearly 90% of known marine life forms. See Chart at geologic time.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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