Mesozoic Era

Triassic Period: 248 - 206 million years ago

Climate: Warm and dry

Famous Animals: Coelophysis, Eoraptor

About: Following a devastating extinction that eliminated most of Earth’s life at the end of the Permian period, the Triassic marks the beginning of a new era. This is also when the first dinosaurs evolved, lived and survived, becoming one of the most dominant animal groups for millions of years.

Jurassic Period: 206 - 144 million years ago

Climate: The early Jurassic was still quite arid, but as the landmasses centered themselves over the equator, conditions became mostly tropical.

Famous Animals: Allosaurus, Stegosaurus

About: The Jurassic was a time of abundance for the dinosaurs. Large, long-necked sauropods lived all over the world, and armored dinosaurs like Stegosaurus lived amongst predators like Allosaurus, Torvosaurus, and Ceratosaurus.

Cretaceous Period: 144 - 65 million years ago

Climate: For the most part, it was very warm, but seasonal changes became more extreme, forcing animals to migrate from year to year.

Famous Animals: Tyrannosaurus, Triceratops

About: During the Cretaceous, the landmasses began to break apart and resemble how they look today. Long-necked sauropods still flourished in South America, and in North America large herds of duck-billed ornithopods and horned ceratopsians dominated. Of course, they lived alongside famous predators like Tyrannosaurus and its close relatives. This is also when the first flowering plants evolved.