As a kid, I asked lots of questions about dinosaurs, that I realized my questions became complicated as I became knowledgeable in some areas. One of which was what the age of the oldest dinosaur was. I’m sure you checked this article out of curiosity also, only not as a child I assume.
The Mesozoic Era is a term used to convey “The age of dinosaurs,” and the three periods they were in existence for. Firstly, the Triassic lasted out about 245 to 208 million years ago. The Jurassic–“208-145 million years ago”. Lastly, the Cretaceous–“45-66 million years ago”.
The Age Of The First Time Dinosaur
The recently discovered first-time dinosaur fossils found In Argentina dated to be 228 million years old. This made a few scientists characterize the south landscape of South America as “The Cradle of Dinosauria.” Dinosaurs existed for 163 million years in total. Before they went extinct after the Cretaceous Period, give or take 66 million years ago.
The geographical structure of the Earth feels and looks different in the Mesozoic Era than it seems today. Trust me, I was just as confused as you are when I researched this. The reason for this distinct occurrence was the misconception that the surface of our Earth is rock-solid, which isn’t. The Earth’s surface is always in a constant change, although, extremely slow. For example, a study shows that the eastern wing of the United States is gradually drifting away from Europe and Africa at 1-3 inches yearly. This move is globally called ” The Continental Drift.”
The Begining Of The Age Of Dinosaurs
At the beginning of the Triassic Period, we had just one continent in existence on Earth, one super-continent called “Pangea”. Two mini continents, Laurasia and Gondwanaland, separated by Pangea during the Jurassic Period; after which the modern continents began to surface in the Cretaceous Period, although we’re never in their present locations.
Let’s take a quick look at the environmental conditions of those times. The Mesozoic Era’s climate was always warmer than what we have today, and a little different from the winter and summer today. Picturing a dinosaur wandering through a tropical or desert landscape was not the only climate conditions at the time, there were also wild forests, and mild climates.
The various mental pictures by present-day people of dinosaurs and their climate always include a wide ranch of grasses and flowering plants. It’s hard to say, but the grasses throughout the Mesozoic Era never lasted. All that was in the season where little ferns which provided cover at the time.
Before dinosaurs surfaced on earth, the global temperature ranged between 50º and 60º F. Closely to the end of the Triassic period something thing surprising happened. The earth’s climate became dry and relatively hot; deserts started occupying most of the Pangaea’s surface area. The heavy outpour of rainfall caused an increase in the oceans’ mass during the Jurassic Period. Also, the Lush vegetation, the somewhat resemblance of the vast growth in our present rain forests. This was always covered a large part of Earth’s landmass.
Moving further into the Cretaceous Period, the huge and tall forests of the Jurassic started drying off. The gradual global temperature became the order of the day. Because various vegetation started developing before they could be spotted. Flowering plants appeared, and seed ferns also became extinct.