The Jurassic Period

The Jurassic period was the middle period of the Mesozoic era. The name Jurassic comes from the Jura Mountains between France and Switzerland where the rocks formed during this period were first studied.
Temperatures rose under the middle of the giant continent Pangaea causing tectonic forces to break it up. The climate of the Jurassic was warm and humid, the polar regions were free of ice, sea levels were higher, forests of conifers and ferns began to develop, birds began to evolve from theropod dinosaurs.
In the early Jurassic the size of the dinosaurs increased steadily and eventually, towards the middle of the Jurassic period, sauropods began to appear. These animals grew to huge sizes and thrived well into the early Cretaceous period.
Giant marine reptiles such as dolphin like Ichthyosaurs, long necked Plesiosaurs and short necked Pliosaurs started appearing in the seas. These marine reptiles developed through the Triassic and into the Jurassic. Pliosaurs like Lipleurodon were major predators in the Jurassic seas whilst Plesiosaurs tended to eat smaller fish and other small animals.

Flying reptiles, such as Pterodons, appeared in the late Jurassic.

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