After the Paleozoic era, came the time of the Mesozoic era, followed by the Cenozoic era. The Mesozoic era sometimes referred to as the “dinosaur era” because dinosaurs were the dominant fauna throughout much of the Mesozoic. The Mesozoic era was a transitional period in the development of the earth’s crust and life. The era is also called the geological and biological middle ages.
- The name Mesozoic comes from the Greek term “middle of life”.
This era is indeed in the middle of three geological eras of the Phanerozoic Eon.
- John Phillips, a geologist by profession, divided this era into three distinct periods in 1841.
Triassic – began 252 million years ago and ended 201 million years ago;
Jurassic- began 201 million years ago and ended 145 million years ago;
Cretaceous began 145 years ago and ended 66 million years ago.
- The Triassic period was the beginning of the Mesozoic era and it lasted for 51 million years.
In Earth’s history, the Triassic period marked the beginning of the Mesozoic era. It is a time when the remains of the animal world from the Permian period were replaced by new revolutionary species of animals. The Triassic period was the time when the first dinosaurs appeared. Although some of the life forms of the Permian period existed throughout the Mesozoic era, some of them went extinct with the dinosaurs.
- The Jurassic period is the most famous period of the Mesozoic era.
It is named after the Jura Mountains, in which its sedimentary strata were first isolated. The period was known for the widespread rise of dinosaurs. The complex of deposits (rocks) corresponding to this age is called the Jurassic system. In different regions of the planet, these deposits differ in composition, Genesis, appearance. The deposits of that time are quite diverse: limestones, clastic rocks, shales, igneous rocks, clays, sands, conglomerates, formed in a variety of conditions.
- Cretaceous period. The final period of the Mesozoic era stretches to a time span of 79 million years.
The Cretaceous period is the last of the three periods that make up the Mesozoic era. Its name comes from the abundance of chalk, formed from dying invertebrates, in its sediments. The Cretaceous period is notable for the second (after the Permian) worldwide extinction of species.
- The Mesozoic era is the era of middle life. It is named so because the flora and fauna of this era are transitional between the Paleozoic and Cenozoic.
Modern outlines of continents and oceans, modern marine fauna and flora gradually formed in the Mesozoic era. Andes and Cordillera, mountains of China and East Asia, the hollows of the Atlantic and Indian oceans were formed during this era. The formation of the depressions of the Pacific Ocean also believed to begin during the Mesozoic era.
- Before this period, all continents were merged into a single giant supercontinent, Pangaea.
With the onset of the Triassic Pangaea began to split into Gondwana and Laurasia.
- The Mesozoic era is primarily known as the dinosaur era.
These giant reptiles overshadow all other groups of living beings. However, it is important to not forget others. After all, the Mesozoic era was the time when there were ancestors of mammals, birds, and flowering plants. The modern biosphere was formed during the Mesozoic era.
- The best-known dinosaurs of that time were predatory Tyrannosaurus and Tarbosaurus…
Herbivorous two-legged iguanodons, four-legged Rhino-like Triceratops, and small armored ankylosaurs were present in this era.
- The biggest dinosaur in the world lived during the Cretaceous period (Mesozoic era).
The dinosaurs named Patagotitan mayorum reached a length of 37 meters, and its weight was 69 tons. The dinosaur lived in the Cretaceous period 100 million years ago.
- Not only dinosaurs appeared in the Mesozoic era, but also other groups of reptiles, which are often mistakenly considered dinosaurs.
Aquatic reptiles (ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs), lepidosaurs-lizard, among which were – the mosasaurs. Snakes also appeared in the Mesozoic era and they are believed to evolve from burrowing lizards. Paleontologists argue about whether the evolution happened in the water or on land.
- Sharks were in the seas and although lived in freshwater reservoirs.
The Mesozoic is the period in which two groups of cephalopods occur, Ammonites and belemnites. Nevertheless, Nautilus lived well in their shells and they appeared in the early Paleozoic. These tiny creatures still exist today. Squid and octopus also appeared during this period.
- The emergence of mammals is associated with several large Aromorphoses that occurred in one of the subclasses of reptiles.
Aromorphosis: a highly developed nervous system, especially the cerebral cortex, which has provided adaptation to the conditions of existence by changing behavior. Although, the movement of the limbs from the sides under the body, the emergence of organs that ensure the development of the embryo in the mother’s body and subsequent feeding with milk. At the same time, the appearance of wool, the complete separation of the circulatory circles, the emergence of alveolar lungs, which increased the intensity of gas exchange and as a consequence of the overall level of metabolism.
- Birds, according to most paleontologists, descended from one of the groups of dinosaurs.
Complete separation of arterial and venous blood flow caused their warm-blood. They spread widely over land and gave rise to many forms, including flightless giants.
- The real revolution in the biosphere occurred with the appearance of angiosperms-flowering plants.
This led to an increase in the diversity of insects that became pollinators of flowers. The gradual spread of flowering plants has changed the face of terrestrial ecosystems.
- There were very big changes on Earth in the Mesozoic era.
Warming and cold snap, as well as high tectonic activity, have changed the composition of the atmosphere and the configuration of the land.
- The climate of the Mesozoic era was diverse:
In the beginning, the weather was humid, then dry and in the end, a sharp cold snap came.
- Nevertheless, The Mesozoic era is the warmest period in the Phanerozoic history of the Earth.
It almost completely coincided with the period of global warming, which began in the Triassic period and ended in the Cenozoic era with the small ice age, which lasts until today.
- Although the tectonic movement at the end of the Cretaceous brought the planet closer to its present appearance, the continents and oceans did not have the same appearance as they do now.
Hindustan had not yet joined Asia, and the Atlantic Ocean was much narrower. As the tectonic plates continued to move, the oceans changed size at a rate of a few centimeters per year.
- At the end of the Cretaceous period during the formation of the Alpine mountains, climate change led to the death of many reptiles.
The remains of a bird, the size of a pigeon, with the teeth of a lizard that has lost the ability to fly were found during the excavations.
- The Mesozoic sediments contain the bulk of the world’s oil and natural gas reserves.
Most of the deposits confined to the Jurassic and Cretaceous strata (for example, the deposits of the largest Persian Gulf oil and gas basin, the West Siberian oil and gas province). Oil and natural combustible gas also extracted from Mesozoic deposits in the pre-Caucasus, Northern Caspian, Mangyshlak Peninsula.
- The Mesozoic era ended with the famous mass extinction.
Commonly known as “the extinction of the dinosaurs”.
- Mammals replaced the mighty lizard monsters…
The descendants of which inhabit our planet to this day.
- Cretaceous disaster – the end of the Mesozoic era.
Scientists believe that the cause of the Cretaceous disaster was either a sharp change in climate or the fall of meteorites.
- There is a gap of 90 million years between the extinction of dinosaurs and the emergence of humans…
This has been asserted by science up to the present day, but at the same time disputed.
These were the 25 interesting facts about the Mesozoic era. For educational purposes, I did thorough research on the topic to introduce you to one of the unique eras of this planet. I hope after reading this post, you will recognize the Mesozoic era more closely. If you know more facts about the Mesozoic era or if you are wanting to insert your corrections please contact us directly, or share them at the comments section.