Browsing the "Jurassic" Category

The Jurassic period is a division of earth’s history spanning from around 201 to 145 million years ago, and during which dinosaurs became the dominant land vertebrates. By the Early Jurassic, the supercontinent of Pangaea had split into Laurasia, in the north, and Gondwana, in the south. Separating them was the Tethys Ocean. Sea levels in the Jurassic were high and the climate was warm and humid, leading to the growth of vast forests of conifers and ferns. In the oceans, marine reptiles continued to diversify, as did ammonites. During the Jurassic, reef-building rudist bivalves and belemnite cephalopods appeared. On land, dinosaurs flourished; among the most successful were the giant long-necked sauropods. Bird-like dinosaurs such as Archaeopteryx began to appear. In the skies, pterosaurs were common.


Pterodactylus paddles low res

Episode 55: Pterosaurs

Published on November 15th, 2015 | by Liz Martin

Pterosaurs were the first vertebrates to achieve powered flight, and lived in the skies above the dinosaurs during the Mesozoic. They’re often mistakenly identified as dinosaurs, but are in fact a separate, closely related group. This [&hellip... Read More


Ziapelta reconstruction by Sydney Mohr

Episode 53: Ankylosaurs

Published on October 15th, 2015 | by Liz Martin

Ankylosaurs are a group of non-avian dinosaurs best known for their armour, tank-like bodies, and sometimes large tail clubs. First appearing in the Jurassic, they were common in Late Cretaceous ecosystems, with several species known from [&hellip... Read More


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


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



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



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



Episode 37: Theropods and birds

Published on December 1st, 2014 | by Dave Marshall

Theropods are what we would classically recognise as the meat-eating dinosaurs of the Mesozoic Era. They are best known from genera such as Tyrannosaurus and Velociraptor but the group is much more diverse and includies herbivores, beaked [&hellip... Read More



Episode 29: Medusae

Published on June 1st, 2014 | by Dave Marshall

One of the longest-ranging and outwardly primitive-looking groups of animals on the planet are the Medusozoa. In consisting of around 95% water, it may be surprising to know that there is a fossil record of jellyfish, [&hellip... Read More



Episode 21: Marine reptiles of Svalbard

Published on October 1st, 2013 | by Dave Marshall

In this episode we talk to Jørn Hurum, Associate Professor of Vertebrate Paleontology at the Natural History Museum Oslo, Norway.  Jørn has varied research interests including dinosaurs and mammals (being one of the team of researchers who described [&hellip... Read More


OCmarsh title

Episode 13: Best Western Denver Southwest

Published on March 1st, 2013 | by Dave Marshall

Every palaeontologist needs to put their feet up once in a while, and what better place to do so than at the Best Western Denver Southwest? This hotel is located just a stone’s-throw away from Dinosaur [&hellip... Read More

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