The Mesozoic Era is an interval of geological time from about 250 million years ago to about 65 million years ago.
It is often referred to as the Age of Reptiles because reptiles, namely non-avian dinosaurs, were the dominant terrestrial and marine vertebrates of the time.
The Mesozoic was a time of significant tectonic, climate and evolutionary activity.
The era witnessed the gradual rifting of the supercontinent Pangaea into separate landmasses that would eventually move into their current positions.
The climate of the Mesozoic was varied, alternating between warming and cooling periods.
Overall, however, the Earth was hotter than it is today.
Non-avian dinosaurs appeared in the Mid-Triassic and became the dominant terrestrial vertebrates early in the Jurassic, occupying this position for about 135 million years until their demise at the end of the Cretaceous.
Birds first appeared in the Jurassic, having evolved from a branch of theropod dinosaurs.
The first mammals also appeared during the Mesozoic, but would remain small and modest until the Cenozoic.
Plesiosaurus was a genus of large marine sauropterygian reptile that lived during the early part of the Jurassic Period, and is known by nearly complete skeletons from the Lias of England.
Although there are a number of modern-day myths surrounding this order of creature, such as the myth of the Loch Ness Monster, these creatures are known to be extinct. It is distinguishable by its small head, long and slender neck, broad turtle-like body, a short tail, and two pairs of large, elongated paddles.
Plesiosaurus was one of the first of the "antediluvian reptiles" to be discovered and excited great interest in Victorian England.
It is one of two palm species, along with Phoenix theophrasti, native to Europe. It is mainly found in south western Europe Malta, Sicily, coastal Spain and Portugal, central and southern Italy, some parts of the southern Mediterranean coast of France, as well as northwest Africa.
It is a shrub-like clumping palm, with several stems growing from a single base. The stems grow slowly and often tightly together, eventually reaching 2–5 m tall with a trunk diameter of 20–25 cm. It is a fan palm (with the leaves with a long petiole terminating in a rounded fan of 10-20 leaflets; each leaf is up to 1-1.5 m long, with the leaflets 50–80 cm long. It also has numerous sharp needle-like spines produced on the leaf stems; these may protect the stem growing point from browsing animals.
The flowers are borne in dense, short inflorescences at the top of the stems; it is usually (but not invariably) dioecious with male and female flowers on separate plants.
Coccosteus is an extinct genus of arthrodire placoderm. Its fossils have been found throughout Europe and North America.
Coccosteus had a joint between the armour of the body and skull. In addition, it also had an internal joint between its neck vertebrae and the back of the skull, allowing for the mouth to be opened even wider. Along with the longer jaws, this allowed Coccosteus to feed on fairly large prey.
The up-and-down movement of the skull also allowed for more water to be pumped through the gills. Possibly, the creature supplemented its diet with organic material filtered from mud using the gills.
Scolosaurus is an extinct genus of ankylosaurid dinosaurs within the subfamily Ankylosaurinae.
It is known from the lower levels of the Late Cretaceous Dinosaur Park Formation (latest middle Campanian stage, about 76.5 Ma ago) of Alberta, Canada. It is the oldest known North American anklylosaurid. He was 2 meters long.
He lived 100 million years ago, in the Savannah and river banks.
Quercus suber is a medium-sized, evergreen oak tree in the section Quercus sect. Cerris. It is the primary source of cork for wine bottle stoppers and other uses, such as cork flooring. It is native to southwest Europe and northwest Africa.
It grows to up to 20 m (66 ft), although it is typically more stunted in its native environment. The leaves are 4 to 7 cm (1.6 to 2.8 in) long, weakly lobed or coarsely toothed, dark green above, paler beneath, with the leaf margins often down curved.
Pteranodon is a genus of pterosaurs which included some of the largest known flying reptiles, with wingspans over 6 metres (20 ft).
Adult male Pteranodon were among the largest pterosaurs, and were the largest flying animals known until the late 20th century.
The wingspan of an average adult male Pteranodon was 5.6 metres (18 ft).
Adult females were much smaller, averaging 3.8 metres (12 ft) in wingspan.
The largest specimen of Pteranodon longiceps from the Niobrara Formation measured 6.25 metres (20.5 ft) from wingtip to wingtip.
An even larger specimen is known from the Pierre Shale Formation, with a wingspan of 7.25 metres (23.8 ft), though this specimen may belong to the distinct genus and species Geosternbergia maysei.
While most specimens are found crushed, enough fossils exist to put together a detailed description of the animal.
Robinia pseudoacacia, commonly known as the black locust, is a tree of the genus Robinia in the subfamily Faboideae of the pea family Fabaceae.
It is native to the southeastern United States, but has been widely planted and naturalized elsewhere in temperate North America, Europe, Southern Africa and Asia and is considered an invasive species in some areas.
Another common name is false acacia, which is a literal translation of the specific epithet.
Apatosaurus known by the popular synonym Brontosaurus, is a genus of sauropod dinosaur that lived during the Jurassic Perio. It was one of the largest land animals known to have ever existed, with an average length of 23 m (75 ft) and a mass of at least 16 metric tons (18 short tons).
The cervical vertebrae were less elongated and more heavily constructed than those of Diplodocus and the bones of the leg were much stockier (despite being longer), implying a more robust animal. The tail was held above the ground during normal locomotion. Like most sauropods, Apatosaurus had only a single large claw on each forelimb, with the first three toes on the hind limb possessing claws.
The Eucalyptus globulus is an evergreen tree, one of the most widely cultivated trees native to Australia.
The bark sheds often, peeling in large strips.
The broad juvenile leaves are borne in opposite pairs on square stems.
They are about 6 to 15 cm long and covered with a blue-grey, waxy bloom, which is the origin of the common name "blue gum".
The mature leaves are narrow, sickle-shaped and dark shining green.
They are arranged alternately on rounded stems and range from 15–35 cm (5.9–13.8 in) in length.
The buds are top-shaped, ribbed and warty and have a flattened operculum (cap on the flower bud) bearing a central knob. The cream-coloured flowers are borne singly in the leaf axils and produce copious nectar that yields a strongly flavoured honey. The fruits are woody and numerous small seeds are shed through valves which open on the top of the fruit. It produces roots throughout the soil profile, rooting several feet deep in some soils.
Triceratops is a genus of herbivorous ceratopsid dinosaur that first appeared during the late Maastrichtian stage of the late Cretaceous period. It is one of the last known non-avian dinosaur genera, and became extinct in the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event 66 million years ago.
Bearing a large bony frill and three horns on its large four-legged body, and conjuring similarities with the modern rhinoceros, Triceratops is one of the most recognizable of all dinosaurs and the best known ceratopsid.
The most distinctive feature is their large skull, among the largest of all land animals. The largest known skull is estimated to have been 2.5 metres in length when complete, and could reach almost a third of the length of the entire animal. It bore a single horn on the snout, above the nostrils, and a pair of horns approximately 1 m long, with one above each eye. To the rear of the skull was a relatively short, bony frill, adorned with epoccipitals in some specimens.
Styracosaurus was a genus of herbivorous ceratopsian dinosaur from the Cretaceous Period. It had four to six long horns extending from its neck frill, a smaller horn on each of its cheeks, and a single horn protruding from its nose, which may have been up to 60 centimetres long and 15 centimetres wide. The function or functions of the horns and frills have been debated for many years.
Styracosaurus was a relatively large dinosaur, reaching lengths of 5.5 metres and weighing nearly 3 tons. It stood about 1.8 meters tall. Styracosaurus possessed four short legs and a bulky body. Its tail was rather short. The skull had a beak and shearing cheek teeth arranged in continuous dental batteries, suggesting that the animal sliced up plants.
The bulky body of Styracosaurus resembled that of a rhinoceros. It had powerful shoulders which may have been useful in intraspecies combat. Styracosaurus had a relatively short tail. Each toe bore a hooflike ungual which was sheathed in horn.
Ceratonia siliqua, commonly known as the carob tree, is a species of flowering evergreen shrub or tree in the pea family, Fabaceae. It is widely cultivated for its edible pods, and as an ornamental tree in gardens. The ripe, dried pod is often ground to carob powder which is used as a substitute for cocoa powder.
It is native to the Mediterranean region including Southern Europe, Northern Africa, the larger Mediterranean islands; and to the Canary Islands and Macaronesia.The word carat, a unit of mass for gemstones and a unit of purity for gold alloys, was possibly derived from the Greek word kerátion literally meaning a small horn, and refers to the carob seed as a unit of weight.
Iguanodon is a genus of ornithopod dinosaur that existed roughly halfway between the first of the swift bipedal hypsilophodontids of the mid-Jurassic and the duck-billed dinosaurs of the late Cretaceous. Iguanodon were large, bulky herbivores. Distinctive features include large thumb spikes, which were possibly used for defence against predators, combined with long prehensile fifth fingers able to forage for food.
Iguanodon was the second type of dinosaur formally named based on fossil specimens, after Megalosaurus.
Furthermore, it appears that Iguanodon became more quadrupedal as it got older and heavier; when walking as a quadruped, the animal's hands would have been held so that the palms faced each other, as shown by iguanodontian trackways and the anatomy of this genus's arms and hands.
Phoenix dactylifera is a palm in the genus Phoenix, cultivated for its edible sweet fruit. Although its place of origin is unknown because of long cultivation, it probably originated from lands around Iraq.
Phoenix dactylifera grows 21–23 m in height, growing singly or forming a clump with several stems from a single root system.
Dry or soft dates are eaten out-of-hand, or may be pitted and stuffed with fillings such as almonds, walnuts, pecans, candied orange and lemon peel, tahini, marzipan or cream cheese. Pitted dates are also referred to as stoned dates. Partially dried pitted dates may be glazed with glucose syrup for use as a snack food. Dates can also be chopped and used in a range of sweet and savory dishes, from tajines (tagines) in Morocco to puddings, ka'ak (types of Arab cookies) and other dessert items.
Anatosaurus was one of the first dinosaurs in America to be named. Its name Trachodon, meaning "rough tooth", is derived from the rough surface on the tooth crown. Trachodon is now considered to be the same as Anatotitan or Anatosaurus. Anatosaurus was the classic "duck-billed" dinosaur, and its name was given to the whole group of these animals. The name means "duck lizard", which refers to its broad toothless snout.
It is an ornithopod and belongs to the group known as Hadrosauridae. Anatosaurus was a herbivore, it probably ate mostly conifer needles and seeds.
It was probably slow-moving animal; it was a bipedal, but may have walked on all four legs, to graze low-lying plants. It had a long tail, short arms and a very long, flat skull. The front of its tough beak was toothless, but it had three rows of hundreds of closely-packed cheek teeth, that were used for grinding up the tough plants.
Ficus elastica, also called the rubber fig, rubber bush, rubber tree, rubber plant, or Indian rubber bush is a species of plant in the fig genus.
Ficus elastica is grown around the world as an ornamental plant, outside in frost-free climates from the tropical to the Mediterranean and inside in colder climates as a houseplant.
Although it is grown in Hawaii, the species of fig wasp required to allow it to spread naturally is not present there.
Tyrannosaurus rex was one of the largest land carnivores of all time; The neck of Tyrannosaurus rex formed a natural S-shaped curve like that of other theropods, but was short and muscular to support the massive head. The forelimbs had only two clawed fingers, along with an additional small metacarpal representing the remnant of a third digit In contrast the hind limbs were among the longest in proportion to body size of any theropod.
The tail was heavy and long, sometimes containing over forty vertebrae, in order to balance the massive head and torso. To compensate for the immense bulk of the animal, many bones throughout the skeleton were hollow, reducing its weight without significant loss of strength.
T-rex was one of the largest meat - eating dinosaurs, having a skull up to 5ft long and many sharp teeth reaching lengths of 6in (15cm). The first complete Tyrannosaurus rex T-rex skeleton was discovered in 1902, and many great examples have been unearthed over the last fifteen years.
Ficus is a genus of about 850 species of woody trees, shrubs, vines, epiphytes and hemiepiphytes in the family Moraceae. Collectively known as fig trees or figs, they are native throughout the tropics with a few species extending into the semi-warm temperate zone. Figs are also of considerable cultural importance throughout the tropics, both as objects of worship and for their many practical uses.
This giant creature was the Asian counterpart of the T-rex and belonged to the largest Asian predators. Tarbosaurus lived in Mongolia at the same time that T-rex roamed North America. It was the carnosaurian theropod, belonging to the family Tyrannosauridae.
Tarbosaurus was an extremely close relative of T-rex, that it is believed by some scientists, that the two should be placed in the same genus; Tarbosaurus would be renamed Tyrannosaurus baatar. (To its own genus Tarbosaurus is frequently assigned the Asian species Tyrannosaurus baatar.) As the Tarbosaurus is more ancient than the T-rex, it suggests the genus could initially have appeared in Asia and then entered North America (through the land bridge connecting these continents in the Cretaceous). Tarbosaurus was a carnivore, eating anything it came across.
Fraxinus ornus is a medium-sized deciduous tree growing to 15–25 m tall with a trunk up to 1 m diameter. The bark is dark grey, remaining smooth even on old trees.
The buds are pale pinkish-brown to grey-brown, with a dense covering of short grey hairs.
The leaves are in opposite pairs, pinnate, 20–30 cm long, with 5-9 leaflets; the leaflets are broad ovoid, 5–10 cm long and 2–4 cm broad, with a finely serrated and wavy margin, and short but distinct petiolules 5–15 mm long; the autumn colour is variable, yellow to purplish.
The flowers are produced in dense panicles 10–20 cm long after the new leaves appear in late spring, each flower with four slender creamy white petals 5–6 mm long; they are pollinated by insects.