Mesozoic Era
Dinosaurs
Image from Luke Campbell

Geological era, Old Earth, lasting from about 251 million years ago to 65 million years ago, popularly known as the Age of Reptiles (more correctly, Age of Archosaurs).

During this long era of Earth history, the climate was tropical and the continents gathered in only one or a few land-masses (often formed into large islands by the shallow seas). Dinosaurs dominated the land, while ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs, and other reptiles flourished in the ocean, and pterosaurs in the air. Mammals were common but small and shrew-like, mostly nocturnal. Plants included ferns, equistales ("horsetails"), and gymnosperms like cycads, ginkgo, conifers. Among many types of marine invertebrates, the Cephalopods - particularly the spiral-shelled Ammonites and Belemnites (squid-like forms with an internal shell) - were particularily common . The era opened with a Class 5 mass-extinction and closed with a Class 4 one. The era is divided into three periods - the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous.

A number of authentic Mesozoic ecosystems have been established using lazurogeneered stock, including the biomes and orbitals of Owen (Utopia Sphere), the Paleo Habitats (FAS), the vast Mesozoic Ring (MPA), and the ever popular complex of Cyberian Dino Virchworlds.
 
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Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev

Initially published on 08 December 2001.