card
261

Jurassic Period

OLogy Series
paleontology
card
261

Jurassic Period

OLogy Series
paleontology

The name Jurassic conjures images of tremendous dinosaurs roaming the Earth. In fact, during this period, dinosaur species became diverse and many grew to extraordinary size! Dinosaurs lived across pangaea, a supercontinent, which began to break up into two landmasses separated by a widening ocean during the middle of the Jurassic Period.

Some of the largest dinosaurs to evolve during the Jurassic Period were the giant, long-necked sauropods. These dinosaurs were:

carnivores (meat eaters)

herbivores (plant eaters)

omnivores (meat and plant eaters)

Are you right?

Correct!

Sauropods were plant eaters. Two famous examples are Diplodocus and Brachiosaurus.

During the Jurassic Period, Pangaea broke apart into two giant landmasses. Separating them was a sea that would become the:

Atlantic Ocean

Pacific Ocean

Arctic Ocean

Are you right?

Correct!

As Pangaea broke apart, it separated Africa from eastern North America-with the Atlantic Ocean in between. As the two supercontinents continued to move apart, they slowly developed different climates.

There was a mass extinction right before the Jurassic Period.

Fact
or
Fiction
?

Fact

Many crocodilian relatives were wiped out at the end of the Triassic. Their disappearance allowed dinosaurs to diversify and become the new rulers of Earth.

Tyrannosaurus rex was a top predator of Jurassic Period.

Fact
or
Fiction
?

Fiction

Tyrannosaurus rex did not appear until the last part of the Cretaceous Period, about 60 million years after the Jurassic Period ended.

Jurassic Period
When: 200-145 million years ago (Mesozoic Era)
Name Origin: Named for the Jura Mountains in Switzerland, where the first Jurassic rocks were found
Biological Events: Dinosaur species diversified; birds, salamanders, snakes, and lizards evolved
Geological Events: Pangaea spread apart into two supercontinents; the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico begin to form

Image credits: courtesy of AMNH.