How did climate effect the Dinosaurs?
Climate during the Mesozoic period was surprisingly generally warmer than what we experience today. Below is a snapshot of what the 3 significant periods were like.
The Triassic period was very warm with Pangaea experiencing almost desert like conditions. As all the continents were fused together, there were no oceans within the land mass and the mega continent was rather dry. There were no ice caps at this stage, and the main plants were ferns and conifers.
During the Jurassic period, the continents began to move and separate. This allowed for more access to water and the vegetation flourished, although most of the plant life still consisted of ferns and conifers. The Jurassic period was wetter than the Triassic, there were less desert areas and the dinosaurs grew much larger.
During this period, the climate began to change dramatically. Basic seasons occurred with warm summers and colder winters. This took an effect on the dinosaurs in terms of their food and habitat. The land mass Pangaea had broken up to look like it does today. By the end of the Cretaceous period, ice caps had begun to form on the poles and there were active volcanoes and low sea levels.
During all of the three periods, dinosaurs learnt to adapt. They were constantly evolving and learning how to live in their world. Many species of dinosaur became extinct during all three periods, not only during the final stages of the Cretaceous period.
Read our Interview with Peter Falkingham from Manchester University here!
Image by Paige, Year 6
Dixon, D (2007) The World of the Dinosaurs. [book] Anness Publishing Ltd, London
Enchanted Learning (2007) The Mesozoic Era [internet] Available http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/dinosaurs/mesozoic/ Accessed 03/03/ 2008Natural History Museum (2007) Dino Directory [internet] London. Available http://internt.nhm.ac.uk/jdsml/nature-online/dino-directory/ [Accessed 03/03/2008]