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

Episode 90: Ichthyornis

Published on May 3rd, 2018 | by Liz Martin-Silverstone

Bird evolution has long fascinated palaeontologists. Despite crown-group birds (birds giving rise to modern lineages today) evolving during the Cretaceous, there are relatively few fossils from this time, making it difficult to understand this key time [&hellip... Read More


Mesozoic

Episode 89: Teeth and herbivory in reptiles

Published on April 17th, 2018 | by Liz Martin-Silverstone

Tooth shape and arrangement is strongly linked with diet, and palaeontologists often use teeth to determine what kind of food an animal may have been eating. Carnivorous teeth are generally more simple, while herbivorous teeth are [&hellip... Read More


Jurassic

Episode 87: Archaeopteryx

Published on March 17th, 2018 | by David Marshall

Archaeopteryx is perhaps one of the most iconic taxa in the fossil record. Exclusively found in the Late Jurassic Solnhofen Lagerstätte in Bavaria, Germany, it is a crucial taxon for understanding the relationship between dinosaurs and [&hellip... Read More


Cretaceous

Episode 85: Ichthyosaurs

Published on January 7th, 2018 | by David Marshall

Ichthyosaurs are large marine reptiles that existed for most of the Mesozoic Era. The most familiar forms superficially represent dolphins, but some earlier ichthyosaurs were more eel like. They could attain huge proportions, with some genera [&hellip... Read More


Blog

My Favourite Question

Published on December 10th, 2017 | by Guest Blogger

Or what a difference a word makes. Words have meaning. That meaning gives them power. Two essentially identical sentences can have entirely different meanings just by changing a single word. In some cases, that word can [&hellip... Read More


Cretaceous

Episode 82: Dinosaurs of China

Published on October 17th, 2017 | by David Marshall

‘Dinosaurs of China’ at Wollaton Hall, Nottingham, UK,  is a one-time only world exclusive exhibition of dinosaurs. Featuring fossils and specimens never before seen outside of Asia, the collection brings to life the story of how [&hellip... Read More


Cretaceous

Episode 81: Coccolithophores

Published on October 1st, 2017 | by David Marshall

Coccolithophores are tiny unicellular eukaryotic phytoplankton (algae). Each is covered with even smaller calcium carbonate plates called coccoliths and it is these that are commonly preserved in the fossil record. In fact, coccoliths are so small, [&hellip... Read More


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