An Introduction to Dinosaurs

Millions of years ago the earth was different. There were no shopping malls, no apartments for rent, no schools, no people even...but there were all sorts of unusual animals and plants, many of which do not exist any more.
Dinosaurs lived between 65 and 245 mya (million years ago). This is known as the Mesozoic (mez-uh-zoh-ik) Era. Many notable events took place during this time; apart from dinosaurs appearing it was also when mammals, flowering plants and grass first appeared.
The Mesozoic is split into three distinct Periods: the Triassic (245 - 200 mya), the Jurassic (200 - 144 mya) and the Cretaceous (144 - 65 mya). The names of these periods reflect the types of rock that were created during them. What we know of dinosaurs is from fossils of their bones that are preserved in these rocks. Though the fossil record is rare and incomplete what it tells us is that the Dinosaurs were a fantastic group of creatures that ranged across the earth very successfully for a very long time.
It's commonly held that the dinosaurs became extinct around 65 million years ago due to some cataclysmic event such as extreme climate change caused by volcanic activity or a meteor strike - no one knows for sure.
From the evidence gathered so far it is becoming clear that birds are related to one family of the dinosaurs called Theropods, a group of dinosaurs that mostly walked on two hind legs and ate meat. It would seem that dinosaurs aren't extinct after all!
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