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Triassic Period

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Chassidy Leslie

on 17 April 2013

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Transcript of Triassic Period

Plants The Triassic Period marked the beginning of major changes that were to take place throughout the Mesozoic Era, particularly in the distribution of continents, the evolution of life, and the geographic distribution of living things. Main Geologic Events Position of the Continents The first phase of deconstruction involved the sundering of the eastern landmasses allowing the influx of waters from the Panthalassic Ocean to flow westward, creating the Tethys Ocean and flooding many continental margins. After the Tethys Ocean formed, Pangaea continued to tear apart as the second phase of dismantling produced two large groups of continents:


•Laurasia – comprising North America, Europe and Asia

•Gondwana – comprising South America, Africa, Antarctica, India and Australia The Triassic period was a time of change, with some plants becoming extinct and others starting to proliferate. Ferns, cycads and conifers were common during this period. Although they weren't well established until the Early Cretaceous period, the Late Triassic period saw the beginning of the Sanmiguelia, which might have been the forebear of today's flowering plants. By: Chassidy Leslie Triassic Period It was hot and dry during the Triassic period. Warm temperate climates extended to the poles. This may have been one of the hottest times in Earth history. Rapid Global Warming at the very end of the Permian may have created a super - "Hot House" world that caused the great Permo-Triassic extinction. 99% of all life on Earth perished during the Permo-Triassic extinction. Early Triassic Climate The Triassic era started 251 million years ago and ended 199.6 million years ago Time Range The previous geologic era was the Jurassic era and the following era was the Permian era. At the end of the Triassic era, plate tectonic activity picked up, and a period of continental rifting began. On the margins of the continents, shallow seas, which had dwindled in area at the end of the Permian, became more extensive; as sea levels gradually rose, the waters of continental shelves were colonized for the first time by large marine reptiles and reef-building corals of modern aspect. As these two continental groups split from one another, a deep rift appeared along the eastern borders of what would become the North American continent. This great trench, called the Tethys Seaway, separated North America from Europe and Africa and would eventually form the Atlantic Ocean. Other geological changes included the formation of mountains (in China, Japan and along the western coast lands of North and South America) which in turn prevented the inflow of moist air from the oceans, further intensifying the arid environments in the continental interiors. Animals There weren't many dinosaurs early in the Triassic period, but the Pangaea landmass was awash in reptiles and amphibians. Therapsids were mammal-like reptiles, the most powerful animal of that period. There were different types of therapsids, including labyrinthodonts, procolophonids, dicynodonts and cynodonts. Meanwhile, the lystrosaurus was a dicynodont about the size of a dog. Its fossils have been found all over the world. And archosaurs started out as minor players in the Triassic animal kingdom. However, they were probably the forbears of dinosaurs, pterosaurs and crocodiles. Some archosaurs evolved into aquatic phytosaurs. Also of note was the Euparkeria, which stood upright and did not have any teeth The Middle Triassic period, for its part, was notable for the many changes that took place. Suddenly, there were more carnivores and four-legged predators. Included in this group were the Prestosuchidae, Rauisuchidae and the Gracilisuchus.
Conifers – These occupied the upper story of the forest. Modern conifers include evergreens such as pine trees, fir and spruce. Cycads – Looking similar to modern palm trees, cycads inhabited the mid- to lower stories of the forest. Cycads today resemble very short palm trees. Ginkgoes – Dwelling in the middle stories of the forest, these plants, common in the Triassic, are represented by only one species today: Ginkgo biloba which appears in many herbal medicines. Seed Ferns – These plants, common before the Permian Extinction, covered the understory of the forests, and struggled to survive during the Triassic. Seed ferns eventually went extinct (the final blow coming in the Cretaceous) leaving only the spore ferns which still grow in many parts of the world.
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