199.6 to 145.5 million years ago
Beginning of the Jurassic Period
The Jurassic time period was the second segment to the Mesozoic Era. During this period, the super continent Pangea was splitting apart. The northern half, Laurentia was splitting into smaller land masses that would form North America today and Eurasia. The southern half was splitting and would soon form Africa, Madagascar, Antartica, India and Australia today. The western portion would soon form Africa and South America. This resulted in dinosaur diversification and dominance. Warmer global temperatures helped make the reptiles and dinosaurs live.
Plant life now lived on the land as well as the oceans. Some of the first plant life in this period was the Bryophytes, they are low growing mosses that lacked vascular tissue and were confined to swampy moist areas. Dominant plants were ferns and gingkoes that had roots and vascular tissue to move water and nutrients and a spore system of reproduction. In this time, the first conifer plant called Gymnosperms were able to distribute pollen. The top picture is Bryophytes and the bottom picture is a Gymnosperm.
Age of the Dinosaurs
The film made by Steven Spielberg in 1993 "Jurassic Park" shows that dinosaurs and reptiles were the dominant animals in this time period. Dinosaurs were the largest animals in the Jurassic Period. Some different types of herbivore dinosaurs include the Sauropods, Brachiosaurus, Stegosaurus and the Pterosaurs. The brachiosaurus was estimated to be over 100 feet long and weigh over 100 tons making it the largest land animal ever to walk the Earth. Some carnivore dinosaurs include Allosaurus and the T-Rex. Scientists have found that the dinosaurs were not alone. There were also some small mammals that lived in the same time period. The top picture is a T-Rex and the bottom picture is a Brachiosaurus.