• Cretaceous Gueragama (image by Julius Csotonyi)
  • Jurassic Geographic range maps and mean generic diversity of terrestrial vertebrate groups before (a) and after (b) the end-Triassic mass extinction. Dunhill and Wills 2015.
  • Mesozoic image
  • Cretaceous Zhenyuanlong by Zhao Chuang
  • Cretaceous Life reconstruction of Wendiceratops pinhornensis. Credit: Danielle Dufault
  • Jurassic Reconstruction of an ichthyosaur skull and endocranium. Image copyright Ryan Marek
  • Cretaceous cover
  • Cenozoic Fig 3

The Mesozoic era, meaning “middle life”, is a division of earth’s history spanning from around 252 to 66 million years ago. It is subdivided into the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. The beginning of the Mesozoic is characterised by a long phase of recovery following the end Permian mass extinction. The end of the Mesozoic is marked by the Cretaceous/Paleogene extinction event which wiped out the dinosaurs among other groups.

Cretaceous

Gueragama (image by Julius Csotonyi)

New iguana from Brazil

Published on August 26th, 2015 | by Liz Martin

A new iguanian fossil described in Nature Communications from the Late Cretaceous of Brazil is changing traditional views on early lizard evolution in the southern hemisphere. Lizards are split into two groups: acrodontan lizards (found in [&hellip... Read More


Jurassic

Geographic range maps and mean generic diversity of terrestrial vertebrate groups before (a) and after (b) the end-Triassic mass extinction. Dunhill and Wills 2015.

Triassic-Jurassic Extinction

Published on August 11th, 2015 | by Liz Martin

A new study out today looks at the question of whether or not geographically widespread species are less likely to become extinct, using the Triassic-Jurassic boundary extinction event. Alex Dunhill from the University of Leeds had [&hellip... Read More


Mesozoic

image

Theropod tooth development

Published on July 28th, 2015 | by Liz Martin

A new study out today has looked at the tooth development of theropod dinosaurs and found they had a novel morphology of the serrated teeth. Lead author Kirstin Brink of the University of Toronto had this [&hellip... Read More


Cretaceous

Zhenyuanlong by Zhao Chuang

New dromaeosaurid – Meet Zhenyuanlong

Published on July 16th, 2015 | by Liz Martin

Another new feathered dinosaur has been described today from the Early Cretaceous of China. Zhenyuanlong joins the ever expanding list of feathered theropods from this region, and has implications for the evolution of wings in dinosaurs. We [&hellip... Read More


Cretaceous

Life reconstruction of Wendiceratops pinhornensis. Credit: Danielle Dufault

New ceratopsian – Wendiceratops

Published on July 8th, 2015 | by Liz Martin

Today, a new ceratopsian was named, Wendiceratops pinhornensis. While known to the public for sometime, it has now been officially named and described. It is an important find illuminating ceratopsian and centrosaurine evolution in North America. We spoke [&hellip... Read More


Jurassic

Reconstruction of an ichthyosaur skull and endocranium. Image copyright Ryan Marek

Ichthyosaur skull reconstruction

Published on June 12th, 2015 | by Liz Martin

A new study out today has produced the world’s first ichthyosaur endocast, which can tell us a lot more about how these ancient marine reptiles were adapted for life in the oceans. Ryan Marek from the [&hellip... Read More


Cretaceous

cover

Episode 42: Pterosaur aerodynamics

Published on April 1st, 2015 | by Liz Martin

Palaeontology is more than just going out into the field, digging up bones, and putting them back together. A good understanding of biology, geology, and even engineering can help to figure out how extinct animals lived [&hellip... Read More


Cenozoic

Fig 3

Episode 41: Insects

Published on March 1st, 2015 | by Dave Marshall

Insects are the most abundant and diverse group on animals on the planet today. Would they therefore also be expected to have the richest fossil record? When did they first evolve and how rapid was their [&hellip... Read More


Cambrian

1280px-Rhynchotremadentatum

Episode 40: Brachiopods

Published on February 1st, 2015 | by Dave Marshall

Brachiopods are some of the most common fossils to be found in rocks worldwide. Their thick, hard and (often) calcareous shells make them preferentially preserved in the fossil record. We probably all have found one, but [&hellip... Read More


Cretaceous

DPP

Episode 39: Dinosaurs of Alberta

Published on January 1st, 2015 | by Dave Marshall

Alberta, Canada is one of the world’s richest areas for dinosaur fossils, and especially fossils from the Late Cretaceous. Iconic dinosaurs like T. rex, Triceratops, and Parasaurolophus, as well as numerous other dinosaurs and fossils can [&hellip... Read More


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