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The Mesozoic Era or the Middle Life began approximately 252 million years ago and ended about 66 million years ago. It came between the Paleozoic Era (ancient life) and Cenozoic Era (new life). Paleontologists called it the Age of Reptiles or Age of Dinosaurs.
See the fact file below for more interesting Mesozoic Era facts or alternatively, you can download our comprehensive worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
- In the 1800s, English geologist John Phillips first coined the term Mesozoic when he created the global geologic timescale. He correlated the sediments found around the world with specific time periods.
- According to the International Commission on Stratigraphy, the start of the Mesozoic Era is called the Permian-Triassic boundary, when they found the type of extinct conodont (an eel-like creature) in Meishan, China.
- The Mesozoic Era is divided into the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods.
- It was during the Early Triassic Epoch when the supercontinent Pangaea was a dry land mass. It was then populated by vertebrate life such as Euparkeria, Labyrinthodonts, Lystrosaurus, and tetrapods.
- By the Middle Triassic Epoch, Pangaea began to break apart along with the recovery of mosquitoes, algae, and coral. In addition, crocodiles began to emerge.
- It was during the Late Triassic Epoch when Earth became warmer, enabling reptiles to evolve and dinosaurs emerged.
- About 200 million years ago, the Jurassic Period began with the rise of archosaurs. In addition, sauropods and theropods emerged in the forests filled with conifers. During the Late Jurassic Epoch, dinosaurs became more diverse as sea levels increased. Pangaea separated into two supercontinents known as Laurasia and Gondwanaland.
- The third and the longest period was the Cretaceous Epoch. For approximately 80 million years, a variety of dinosaurs and mammals began to evolve. It was during this time that Earth started to develop cold and warm climates on different poles. The ocean rose, resulting in expanded seaways.
- It was during this epoch when the Fifth Major Extinction, also known as K-T Extinction Event, happened.
- During the Late Cretaceous Epoch, dinosaurs such as Ankylosaurus, Tyrannosaurus, and Triceratops dominated the food chain.
- Amphibians developed respiratory mechanisms that allowed them to live both on land and in water. Furthermore, reptiles developed leathery and thick skin to adapt to warmer and drier climates.
- The supercontinent Pangaea totally broke apart at the end of the Mesozoic Era. It was also the time when the climate changed drastically.
- In 1912, geologist Alfred Wegener first proposed the theory of continental drift as the cause of the land mass separation from Pangaea to Laurasia and Gondwanaland into our modern day continents.
- Meteorologists believed that the Mesozoic Era ended after the impact of an asteroid.
- In terms of diet, some dinosaurs were meat-eaters also known as carnivores or theropods. They preyed on other dinosaurs through hunting and scavenging. Anatomically, carnivorous dinosaurs had strong and fast legs. They also had strong jaws, sharp teeth, and deadly claws. Tyrannosaurus rex, Velociraptor, Eoraptor, and Giganotosaurus were some of the meat-eating dinosaurs.
- Most dinosaurs were herbivores or plant-eaters. Dinosaurs such as Iguanodon, Triceratops, Stegosaurus, and Diplodocus had blunt, grinding teeth and cheek pouches.
- Only a few dinosaurs were known to be omnivores or both meat and plant eaters, such as the ornithomimus and oviraptor.
Mesozoic Era Worksheets
This bundle includes 11 ready-to-use Mesozoic Era worksheets that are perfect for students to learn about The Mesozoic Era or the Middle Life which began approximately 252 million years ago and ended about 66 million years ago. It came between the Paleozoic Era (ancient life) and Cenozoic Era (new life). Paleontologists called it the Age of Reptiles or Age of Dinosaurs.
This download includes the following worksheets:
- Mesozoic Era Facts
- Geologic Time Scale
- Age of Dinosaurs
- Continental Drift
- K-T Extinction
- Dino Niche
- Mesozoic Era Periods
- King of the Dinosaurs
- Jurassic Park
- Mix, Match & Describe
- Mesozoic Fossils
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Link will appear as Mesozoic Era Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, December 19, 2017
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.