Jurassic Period

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.

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: main image, courtesy of AMNH.