There would have been a significant alteration, however, in the demeanor of the island over the strait. At a little over two inches a year, it would have moved forty miles or so eastward, compressing the floor of the strait and pushing up high mountains, like the present mountains of Timor, which have come up in much the same way to stand ten thousand feet above the Banda Sea. Up from the sea and within those Meramecian Nevada mountains came the wine-red pebbly sandstone of the Tonka formation. Forty million years after that, when the Tonka mountains had been worn flat and the Strathearn limestones were forming over their roots, the American scene was very different. It was now the Missourian age of late Pennsylvanian time (about three hundred million years ago), and the Appalachians were still high but they were no longer alpine. Travelling west, and coming down from the mountains around Du Bois, Pennsylvania, you would have descended into a zakelijke energie densely vegetal swamp. This was Pennsylvania in the Pennsylvanian, when vegetation rioted on the earth and the big trees were kings. They were not huge by our standards but they were big trees, some with diamond patterns precisioned in their bark. They had thick boles and were about a hundred feet high. Other trees had bark like the bark of hemlocks and leaves like flat straps. Others had the fluted, swollen bases of cypress. In and out among the trunks
flew dragonflies with the wingspans of great horned owls. Amphibians not only were walking around easily but some of them had become reptiles. Through the high meshing crowns of the trees not a whole lot of light filtered down. The understory was all but woven-of rushlike woody plants and seed ferns. There were luxuriant tree ferns as much as fifty feet high. The scene suggests a tropical rain forest but was more akin to the Everglades, the Dismal Swamp, the zakelijke energie vergelijken Atchafalaya basin-a hummocky spongy landscape ending in a ragged coast. All through Pennsylvanian time, ice sheets had been advancing over the southern continents, advancing and retreating, forming and melting, lowering and raising the level of the sea, and as the sea came up and over the land in places like the swamps of Du Bois it buried them, first under beach sand and later-as the seawater deepened-under lime muds.