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The Age of Reptiles

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Notwithstanding the creatures of the sea, the Paleozoic was predominantly a time of vegetation, much of it in and around shallow lagoons. It wasn't until the Mesozoic period that things really got active beyond the microscopic level. By the beginning of the Mesozoic plant life had begun developing any number of ways of living beyond the waters edge. From the very start, Mesozoic flora include Cycads and low ground conifers. More advanced plant structures such as grasses and those with flowers have yet to arrive.

As the spread of Mesozoic flora proceeded, so did development of animal life. Largely aquatic during the Paleozoic, Mesozoic fauna developed any number of land-based forms of a reptilian nature. The best known among them are known today as Dinosaurs.

Based on The Record of the Rocks there were several classes of reptiles as follows:

  1. Theriomorpha
  2. Crocodile
  3. Plesiosaurs
  4. Ichthyosaurs
  5. Mosasaurs
  6. Dinosaurs

And then there were the birds, with the earliest known variety being the Archaeopteryx.

Little is known as to why most of the reptiles disappeared. Any number of theories ranging from Meteors to Ice Ages have been advanced. All that is really known is that their disappearance is rather sudden. Another thing that has been advanced consists of competition with mammals, except that there is precious little evidence of mammals having existed during that period. Indeed, it isn't until the Cretacious Period that The Age of Mammals dawns upon the Earth.

<< The Record of the Rocks Timeline The Age of Mammals >>

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