Did you know that letting your kids learn about animals is an excellent jumpstart for them to learn about geography, conservation, and evolution? One of the millions of species we now know today due to centuries of research is dinosaurs.
If you or your child want to learn about dinosaur history, do continue reading. This article will show you all the things you want to know about the prehistoric era and the time where dinosaurs walked this Earth.
This is the first part of the Phanerozoic period, the era where dinosaurs began and ended. It started around 225 million years ago when the first dinosaur lifeforms evolved from their respective ancestors. Since then, there have been three mass extinctions that have happened on Earth.
Most of the dinosaurs in this era were called theropods. Their skeletal structure resembles birds today, was short, and stood on two legs. This period ended around 200 million years ago once the fourth mass extinction happened, and 80% of all life was wiped out.
After the fourth mass extinction, this period brought about most of the dinosaur species we know today. Most of them evolved from theropods because Pangea, the ancient continent on Earth, started to break up. Species such as Sauroposeidon, Stegosaurus, and Paraceratherium. This period ended with a minor mass extinction, and various dinosaur species were wiped out.
This period started 145 million years ago. Aside from various species such as Triceratops and Tyrannosaurus rex, multiple flowers and bees evolved during this period. The end of the period was marked by the destruction of 76% of species on Earth. According to research, it was probably caused by the impact of the Chicxulub object. It displaced that much land into the atmosphere that blocked the Sun, preventing various species from performing photosynthesis.
The remaining 23% of species that survived the Cretaceous period started to evolve during this time. It included the species of avian dinosaurs, the largest of which was the Phorusrhacids. They began to emerge 62 million years ago and became extinct around 1.8 million years ago. When they disappeared, it was the same time Homo erectus evolved.
Aside from the avian dinosaurs, the Aepyornithidae was one of the other dinosaur species that evolved from the remaining dinosaurs. They were also flightless birds, and reports say that they became extinct during the 17th century. Since then, the largest bird is the ostrich (20cm shorter than Phorusrhacids), and the smallest one is the bee hummingbird (5 cm). When it comes to talking about dinosaur history, it is the last period when they were still alive.
This article only focused on small snapshots about dinosaur history. If you want to learn more, you can look up various fossil research studies to categorize each ancient animal. We may not be able to see them face to face in this lifetime; however, we can learn various lessons on how nature and evolution work.