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Jurrasic Period

By Edward Hinden | GLY1030


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What is the Jurrasic Period?

What is the Jurrasic Period?


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  • The breakup of the supercontinent Pangaea was a significant event during the Jurassic Period. This process led to the formation of new continents and oceans.
  • The breakup of Pangaea resulted in:
-The formation of the Atlantic Ocean as the continents started to drift a part.-The creation of new mountain ranges, including the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province, which was associated with massive volcanic activity.-Diversification of flora and fauna as new habitats were formed due to continental drift.

Major Events

  • During the Jurassic Period, the first appearance of flowering plants marked a significant event in the evolution of terrestrial ecosystems, contributing to increased biodiversity and changing the landscape of plant life.

  • The Jurassic Period is named after the Jura Mountains between France and Switzerland.
  • The late Jurassic Period witnessed the emergence of the first birds, evolving from small, feathered dinosaurs. Archaeopteryx, a famous transitional fossil, provides crucial evidence of the evolutionary link between dinosaurs and modern birds.
  • The first appearance of flowers occurred during the late Jurassic, marking a significant development in plant evolution.
  • The Jurassic saw the dominance of giant sauropod dinosaurs, some of the largest land animals ever to exist.
  • The Jurassic Period saw the spread of diverse plant life, including the earliest appearance of flowering plants (angiosperms), which eventually became dominant in terrestrial ecosystems, coexisting with gymnosperms like cycads and conifers.

Fun Facts:

  • The Jurrasic Period occured during the Mesozoic Era (251.9 to 66.0 Mya) which is called "The Age of Reptiles".
  • Takes place in the Phanerozoic Eon (541 Mya to present day) which is the rise of complex organisms.
  • Characterized by the dominance of dinosaurs, including iconic species like the T-Rex, brachiosarus, pterodactyl, and the triceratops.
  • Despite the domination of domnation of the dinosaurs, small mammals existed during this time.

  • The Jurassic Period witnessed the emergence and diversification of early mammals, including small, shrew-like creatures, marking a significant evolutionary development towards mammalian dominance in later geological periods.
  • Dinosaurs exhibited a wide range of body sizes, from small, bird-like creatures to massive, long-necked sauropods, and they occupied various ecological niches as herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores. One example would be the Thalassodromeus sethi, a flying dinosaur "With the exception of Tapejara imperator (7), T. sethi has the proportionally largest crest known in any vertebrate (fossil or recent), which makes up about 75% of the cranial lateral surface." (Kellner, A (2002), Pg N/A)


  • The Jurassic Period featured lush tropical forests dominated by gymnosperms such as cycads and conifers, alongside ferns and other non-flowering plants. Additionally, diverse marine reptiles like Plesiosaurs and Ichthyosaurs thrived in the ancient oceans, while insects, including primitive pollinators, played essential roles in terrestrial ecosystems.

(Kellner, A (2002), Fig 3.

  • Kellner, A. W. A., & Diogenes de, A. C. (2002). The function of the cranial crest and jaws of a unique pterosaur from the early cretaceous of Brazil. Science, 297(5580), 389-92. https://www.proquest.com/scholarly-journals/function-cranial-crest-jaws-unique-pterosaur/docview/213578624/se-2
  • Little, C. T. S. (1995). The pliensbachian-toarcian (lower jurassic) extinction event (Order No. U072928). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses A&I; ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (301535263). https://www.proquest.com/dissertations-theses/pliensbachian-toarcian-lower-jurassic-extinction/docview/301535263/se-2

Work(s) Referenced:

End of the Jurrasic Period

  • Around 66 million years ago, the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) extinction event—also called the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) extinction event—marked the end of the Mesozoic Era and caused the extinction of roughly 75% of plant and animal species, including the dinosaurs.

  • The impact of a massive asteroid, estimated to be about 10 kilometers, caused widespread devastation, triggering mega-tsunamis, global wildfires, and a long-lasting impact winter due to dust and debris ejected into the atmosphere, which disrupted global climate patterns and led to the collapse of ecosystems worldwide. With ultimately led to the extinction of the dinosaurs.

  • Another one of the minor extinction events would be the Pliensbachian-Toarcian extinction event (183 Mya), occurring during the Lower Jurassic Period, was marked by a significant decline in marine biodiversity, particularly affecting ammonites, and other marine organisms, possibly due to environmental changes such as oceanic anoxia and volcanic activity. "there was a significant species-level extinction event in the early Toarcian Tenuicostatum Zone, caused by transgressive ocean anoxia." (Little, Crispin (1995) pg N/A)

  • The actual end of the Jurrasic Period occured with the Tithonian Extinction Event. One of the several minor extinctions It was relatively minor compared to later extinction events, resulting in the disappearance of some marine species due to habitat loss (Sea level fall) Although the Tithonian exctinction hasn't been studied greatly in detail, it caused the Cretaceous period to occur.