the uppermost stage of the upper division of the Carboniferous system, sometimes considered a geological series. The name “Stephanian stage” was proposed in 1878 by the Swiss geologist K. Mayer-Eymar for the continental coal-bearing deposits of Western Europe.
The Stephanian stage was distinguished by widespread distribution of continental landscapes and by an increased aridity of climate; coal accumulation occurred locally and sporadically. The flora (ferns, calamites, and Cordaites) was the most important factor in the paleontological substantiation of the Stephanian stage. At the lower boundary of the stage many lepidophytes became extinct, the fern Mariopteris disappeared, and Callip-teridium and the conifers appeared. The term “Stephanian stage” is not widely used in the USSR.