S: Mesozoic Era by Dalal Al Nikhailan
FC: Mesozoic Era | Dalal Al Nikhailan Mrs. Moore March 13, 2013 7-4
1: My topic is the Mesozoic Era and its time, climate, animals, and plants. | Table of Contents Time & Climate 2 Animals 4 Plants 6 Summary 8 Bibliography 9 End page 11
2: Time & Climate | The Mesozoic Era started about 250 million years ago to about 65 million years ago. The Mesozoic is the second of three geologic eras squeezed into the Phanerozoic ("Evident Life") Eon that covers the last 10% of the Earth's whole geologic history. The Mesozoic Era is divided into three time periods: the Triassic (251-199.6 million years ago), the Jurassic (199.6-145.5 million years ago), and the Cretaceous (145.5-65.5 million years ago). The climate was varied, going from warming to cooling periods although the climate was hotter than it is today. The Triassic period was generally dry and the sea levels were low. The climate during the Mesozoic was warm; so warm that there were no ice caps at all, even at the poles. By the middle Cretaceous, equatorial ocean waters (perhaps as warm as 20C in the deep ocean) may have been too warm for sea life, and land areas near the equator may have been deserts despite their proximity to water. The Mesozoic lasted about 180 million years.
4: Animals | Dinosaurs, which are perhaps the most well-known organisms of the Mesozoic, evolved in the Triassic, but were not very diverse until the Jurassic, the second time period of the Mesozoic. The dominant animals on both land and sea were reptiles the most famous of which are the dinosaurs. They were so prominent that the Mesozoic is also called "The Age of Reptiles". Except for birds, dinosaurs became extinct at the end of the Cretaceous. Corals, mollusks and fish dominated the life in the oceans. Some reptiles took to the waters to become the first air-breathing hunters in the oceans. They took on a variety of forms and rose to the top of the food chain. Amphibians developed respiratory mechanisms that allowed them to live in or out of the water for extended periods of time.
5: Amphibians developed respiratory mechanisms that allowed them to live in or out of the water for extended periods of time. But it was the reptiles that were better adapted to the warmer dryer conditions. The animals that developed in the Mesozoic needed new body types to survive the extremes of temperature and moisture. Reptiles developed thick, leathery skin on both their own bodies and their eggs. The reptiles thrived, dominating the landscape in both size and numbers. They are known as diapsids. Diapsids are characterized by having two openings on each side of the skull behind the eyes. Some of the last dinosaurs to have lived are found in the Cretaceous deposits of Montana in the United States.
6: Plants | The early Mesozoic was dominated by ferns, cycads, gingkophytes, bennettitaleans, and other unusual plants. Plants grew like crazy in the warmth and moisture so there was food everywhere for your average hungry 50-ton Ultrasaurus. The dominant land plant species of the time were gymnosperms, which are vascular, cone-bearing, non-flowering plants such as conifers that produce seeds without a coating. Mesozoic Era conifers include redwoods, yews, pines, Araucaria, cypress and Pseudofrenelopsis. Conifers are cone-bearing and none-flowering plants. Flowering plants did not evolve until late in the Mesozoic (about 140 million years ago). One particular plant species, the ginkgo biloba, is perceived to have evolved at this time and still exists today as the only surviving species from its phylum. As well, the extant genus sequoia is believed to have evolved in the Mesozoic. The Mesozoic Era was dominated by many types of plants.
8: Summary | The Mesozoic Era was a thriving era with many different plants and animals. There were many types of plants. None of the plants flowered in the early Mesozoic. They only started flowering in the late Mesozoic, about 140 million years ago. There were a lot of animals. The Mesozoic had a thriving marine life. Many land-dwelling creatures adapted to live in the sea. But the Mesozoic is called "The Age of Reptiles" because of the many reptiles. The most famous of which were the dinosaurs. The climate of the Mesozoic was much hotter than it is today. There were deserts near the equatorial waters and little to no marine life due to the almost unbearable heat. Many plants and animals thrived in the Mesozoic Era.
9: Bibliography | Col, Jeananda. "Dinosaurs and Plants - ZoomDinosaurs.com." ENCHANTED LEARNING HOME PAGE. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Feb. 2013.
10: Bibliography | "Age of the Dinosaurs." SERC. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2013.
11: The End