EARTH HISTORY PROJECT
THE BASIC FACTS:
The Mesozoic Era lasted more than 180 million years.
Throughout this period of time, many of Earth's plants, fish, and invertebrates evolved or, advanced.
In this part of history, the dinosaurs were the superior animals on land whereas Marine reptiles were the dominant animals of the oceans, and Pterosaurs of the air.
At the start of the Mesozoic era all of the continents were still one continent.
The super continents cooled and Pangaea was still one continent.
By the end of the Mesozoic era the super continent Pangaea broke up into 7 smaller continents.
The Mesozoic era is also best known for the dinosaurs. There was also a mass extinction during the Mesozoic era.
The climate in this age of time was hot, dry, and desert like.
The sea levels were lower in this part of history than the times before.
There were three periods that were intertwined into this Era:
The first one was the Triassic period. The second was the Jurassic period. The third was the Cretaceous period.
Earth also had large vertebrates walking around.
This pretty planet had medium sized vertebrates as well. Small vertebrates were also roaming around on this pretty planet.
Large vertebrates were even flying around in this period of time.
The pretty planet also had medium vertebrates in the sky at this point in time.
This large blue planet also had small vertebrates that flied in the sky.
The Triassic period was a transition form the Paleozoic Era to the Mesozoic Era.
It is the first section or period of the Mesozoic Era. The Triassic had a unique climate just as any other period of Earth's history.
The climate was influenced by plate tectonic movements that never existed before.
At the beginning of the Triassic period, the land masses of the world were still connected by the supercontinent, Pangaea.
Pangaea began to break apart in the middle of the triassic period.
Climate in the Triassic period was generally hot and dry. As a result, many red bed sandstones and evaporites were formed.
Pangaea's large size limited the moist temperature suitable for reptiles.
There were three categories of organisms intertwined in the Triassic period: animals from earlier times, new groups that formed briefly, and new groups that went on to dominate.
Below you can see that the Triassic period had a very dry climate and desert like features.
The middle period of the Mesozoic Era is called the Jurassic.
The sea level in the Jurassic age was rising.
The cause of the rising sea level was the spreading of the sea floor.
The Earth's atmosphere was made mostly made up of CO2, so man could not live on the planet Earth.
The Jurassic period had more animals than just dinosaurs.
The largest land animals of all time were the gigantic sauropods, which included the Diplodocus, Brachiosaurus and Apatosaurus.
Other herbivorous dinosaurs of the Jurassic included the plated stegosaurs.
Predatory dinosaurs of the Jurassic included fearsome Carnosaurs such as Allosaurus, small, fast coelurosaurs, and ceratosaurs such as Dilophosaurus.
The Jurassic also saw the origination of the first birds, including the well-known Archaeoptyrx, probably from coelurosaurian ancestors.
Some Jurassic period mammals included Morganucodontids.
At the beginning of the Jurassic, the Earth's continents were still jammed together, forming the supercontinent Pangaea, but they were beginning to drift apart.
Early mammals were developing and diversifying in the Jurassic.
The Jurassic period is named for rock strata found in the Jura Mountains, which are located between France and Switzerland.
There was no polar ice during the Jurassic, so the sea levels were higher than they are now.
The climate was warm.
Much of the inland was dry and desert like.
Below is a picture of what the Jurassic animals and climate looked like.
The Cretaceous period ended 65 million years ago.
It ended with the extinction of dinosaurs.
This mass extinction was the second-most extensive in the history of the Earth.
Named for chalky rock from southeastern England that was the first Cretaceous period sediment studied.
The first placental mammals appeared at the beginning of the Cretaceous.
The Cretaceous saw the rise and extinction of the toothed birds, Hesperornis and Ichthyornis.
The earliest fossils of birds resembling loons, grebes, cormorants, pelicans, flamingos, ibises, rails, and sandpipers were from the Cretaceous.
Primitive flowering plants began to develop.
The land was covered with forests surrounded by shallow seas.
The Cretaceous period ended with a bang.
All dinosaurs were wiped out and only bones were left!
Below you can see that the dinosaurs truely did leave with a BOOM!
It is said that comets killed all of the dinosaurs off at the end of the Mesozoic Era.
By end of the Mesozoic era nearly all life on the planet Earth had gone extinct.
Perhaps 98-99% of all life on the planet Earth had gone extinct. Some geologists have evidence that a large meteor hit earth that caused the mass extinction of the dinosaurs.
The last dinosaurs are known from about 65 million years ago.
All dinosaurs did not die at the same time.
Most animals and plants died out with dinosaurs.
Small animals had a better chance of surviving.