Dinosaurs of the Triassic period of the Mesozoic Era

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Dinosaur Jungle   >   Dinosaur Facts   >   Timeline   >   Triassic Period

Triassic Period



The Triassic period was the first of three periods in the Mesozoic Era (the others being the Jurassic period and the Cretaceous period), and occured between 248 million and 213 million years ago.

It was during the Triassic period that archosaurs ("ruling reptiles"), including dinosaurs, crocodiles, and Pterosaurs first evolved. Prior to the Triassic, during the previous Permian era, mammal-like reptiles had been the dominant land animals. Some survived into the Triassic, but they dramatically declined, apparently out-competed by the dinosaurs. The mammal-like reptiles did however give rise to the first mammals, these being tiny mouse-sized animals. The dominant plants during the Triassic period were conifers, ferns, ginkgos and horsetails.

The late Triassic period

The World in the Triassic
Here is a map of the world during the early Triassic (about 225 million years ago). At this time, all the continents were combined into one massive super-continent, known as Pangaea:

The different geography of the world also led to a different climate. On the whole, the Triassic was generally hot and dry, and there was no glaciation or ice caps at the poles (polar regions were moist and temperate). The interior of Pangaea would have had a highly seasonal continental climate, with very hot summers and cold winters.


Triassic Dinosaurs



Here are some of the types of dinosaurs that lived during the Triassic period:

Timeline:

 
Coelophysis was a carnivore (meat-eater) that lived from 225 to 220 million years ago
Coelophysis 
Coelophysis was a carnivore (meat-eater) that lived from 225 to 220 million years ago
Cryolophosaurus was a carnivore (meat-eater) that lived from 196 to 1960 million years ago
Cryolophosaurus 
Cryolophosaurus was a carnivore (meat-eater) that lived from 196 to 1960 million years ago
Herrerasaurus was a carnivore (meat-eater) that lived about 228 million years ago
Herrerasaurus 
Herrerasaurus was a carnivore (meat-eater) that lived about 228 million years ago
Melanorosaurus was a herbivore (plant-eater) that lived from 227 to 221 million years ago
Melanorosaurus 
Melanorosaurus was a herbivore (plant-eater) that lived from 227 to 221 million years ago
 
Mussaurus was a herbivore (plant-eater) that lived about 215 million years ago
Mussaurus 
Mussaurus was a herbivore (plant-eater) that lived about 215 million years ago
Pisanosaurus was a herbivore (plant-eater) that lived from 228 to 216 million years ago
Pisanosaurus 
Pisanosaurus was a herbivore (plant-eater) that lived from 228 to 216 million years ago
Plateosaurus was a herbivore (plant-eater) that lived from 222 to 218 million years ago
Plateosaurus 
Plateosaurus was a herbivore (plant-eater) that lived from 222 to 218 million years ago
Riojasaurus was a herbivore (plant-eater) that lived from 225 to 219 million years ago
Riojasaurus 
Riojasaurus was a herbivore (plant-eater) that lived from 225 to 219 million years ago
 
Saltopus was a carnivore (meat-eater) that lived from 225 to 222 million years ago
Saltopus 
Saltopus was a carnivore (meat-eater) that lived from 225 to 222 million years ago
Staurikosaurus was a carnivore (meat-eater) that lived about 225 million years ago
Staurikosaurus 
Staurikosaurus was a carnivore (meat-eater) that lived about 225 million years ago
Unaysaurus was a herbivore (plant-eater) that lived about 225 million years ago
Unaysaurus 
Unaysaurus was a herbivore (plant-eater) that lived about 225 million years ago
 
 


Related Information & Resources


See Also

Books about the Triassic Period


Here are some books from Amazon.com:

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Carboniferous Giants and Mass Extinction: The Late Paleozoic Ice Age World
By George McGhee Jr.

Columbia University Press
Released: 2018-08-07
Paperback (320 pages)

Carboniferous Giants and Mass Extinction: The Late Paleozoic Ice Age World
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Picture a world of dog-sized scorpions and millipedes as long as a car; tropical rainforests with trees towering over 150 feet into the sky and a giant polar continent five times larger than Antarctica. That world was not imaginary; it was the earth more than 300 million years ago in the Carboniferous period of the Paleozoic era. In Carboniferous Giants and Mass Extinction, George R. McGhee Jr. explores that ancient world, explaining its origins; its downfall in the end-Permian mass extinction, the greatest biodiversity crisis to occur since the evolution of animal life on Earth; and how its legacies still affect us today.

McGhee investigates the consequences of the Late Paleozoic ice age in this comprehensive portrait of the effects of ancient climate change on global ecology. Carboniferous Giants and Mass Extinction examines the climatic conditions that allowed for the evolution of gigantic animals and the formation of the largest tropical rainforests ever to exist, which in time turned into the coal that made the industrial revolution possible―and fuels the engine of contemporary anthropogenic climate change. Exploring the strange and fascinating flora and fauna of the Late Paleozoic ice age world, McGhee focuses his analysis on the forces that brought this world to an abrupt and violent end. Synthesizing decades of research and new discoveries, this comprehensive book provides a wealth of insights into past and present extinction events and climate change.
Mesozoic Sea Dragons: Triassic Marine Life from the Ancient Tropical Lagoon of Monte San Giorgio (Life of the Past)
By Olivier Rieppel

Indiana University Press
Hardcover (256 pages)

Mesozoic Sea Dragons: Triassic Marine Life from the Ancient Tropical Lagoon of Monte San Giorgio (Life of the Past)
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Told in rich detail and with gorgeous color recreations, this is the story of marine life in the age before the dinosaurs. During the Middle Triassic Period (247–237 million years ago), the mountain of Monte San Giorgio in Switzerland was a tropical lagoon. Today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because it boasts an astonishing fossil record of marine life from that time. Attracted to an incredibly diverse and well-preserved set of fossils, Swiss and Italian paleontologists have been excavating the mountain since 1850.


Synthesizing and interpreting over a century of discoveries through a critical twenty-first century lens, paleontologist Olivier Rieppel tells for the first time the complete story of the fish and marine reptiles who made that long-ago lagoon their home. Through careful analysis and vividly rendered recreations, he offers memorable glimpses of not only what Thalattosaurs, Protorosaurs, Ichthyosaurs, Pachypleurosaurs, and other marine life looked like but how they moved and lived in the lagoon.


An invaluable resource for specialists and accessible to all, this book is essential to all who are fascinated with ancient marine life.

Triassic-Jurassic of western Massachusetts: easily acessable geology field trips
By John F. Hubert

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Paperback (176 pages)

Triassic-Jurassic of western Massachusetts: easily acessable geology field trips
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With many illustrations, John Hubert leads you on easily accessible field trips to Late Triassic-Early Jurassic rocks in the Connecticut Valley of western Massachusetts. John writes about the rocks in non-technical language, with geologic terms explained as introduced. The trips are a hands-on experience of the evidence allowing you to visualize now vanished mountains, rivers, playas, lakes, deltas, alluvial fans, and volcanic lavas, along with the dinosaurs that roamed the rift valley.
The Complete Book of Dinosaurs: The ultimate reference to 355 dinosaurs from the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, including more than 900 illustrations, maps, timelines and photographs
By Dougal Dixon

Southwater
Paperback (264 pages)

The Complete Book of Dinosaurs: The ultimate reference to 355 dinosaurs from the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, including more than 900 illustrations, maps, timelines and photographs
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The ultimate identification guide for dinosaur enthusiasts, featuring more than 355 creatures, written by an acknowledged expert. Fascinating anatomical drawings demonstrate their skeletal make up, and the habitats in which they lived are depicted. The main section of the book is an encyclopedia of dinosaurs and prehistoric creatures, arranged according to type. Each entry contains a description of the creature's key identifying features, evolutionary adaptations and details of the fossil evidence.

When Dinos Dawned, Mammals Got Munched, and Pterosaurs Took Flight: A Cartoon PreHistory of Life in the Triassic (National Geographic Kids)
By Hannah Bonner

National Geographic Children's Books
Released: 2012-04-10
Hardcover (48 pages)

When Dinos Dawned, Mammals Got Munched, and Pterosaurs Took Flight: A Cartoon PreHistory of Life in the Triassic (National Geographic Kids)
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In the style of WHEN BUGS WERE BIG and WHEN FISH GOT FEET this book discusses all the exciting developments of the Triassic Age, from the recovery of the planet from the most deadly mass extinction ever, to the first appearance of the dinosaurs. We also get to meet the first mammals, the first pterosaurs (flying reptiles), the first frogs, a host of predatory marine reptiles, early turtles, and the first coral reefs.  With the books' signature blend of humor and clearly presented information, cartoon illustrations help keep the fact-filled material extra fun.

National Geographic supports K-12 educators with ELA Common Core Resources.
Visit www.natgeoed.org/commoncore for more information.
Dinosaur Explorers Vol. 4: Trapped in the Triassic
By Albbie

Papercutz
Released: 2019-02-05
Paperback (184 pages)

Dinosaur Explorers Vol. 4: Trapped in the Triassic
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While exploring the Triassic era, the X-Venture Xplorers are split in two- not by rampaging creatures or primal danger, but by simple squabbling! Stone and Emily continue on foot, while Rain and Sean take the vehicle for a spin! However, the era’s residents see this as an opportunity to score some bite-sized snacks! And things are only going to get worse! Read on and see how the X-Venture Xplorers escape being TRAPPED IN THE TRIASSIC!
Dinosaur Dictionary for Kids: The Everything Guide for Kids Who Love Dinosaurs
By Bob Korpella

Prufrock Press
Released: 2016-07-01
Paperback (200 pages)

Dinosaur Dictionary for Kids: The Everything Guide for Kids Who Love Dinosaurs
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Packed with hundreds of illustrated definitions about dinosaurs and the world in which they lived, Dinosaur Dictionary for Kids is certain to spark any kid's enthusiasm for the age of dinosaurs. Explore the Mesozoic era. Learn about dinosaurs that lived on land, those that swam the waters, and species that patrolled the skies. Find out about dinosaur extinction, how scientists date fossils, and what it takes to become a paleontologist. Dinosaur Dictionary for Kids will be there when it's time to write reports, delve into projects, prepare assignments, or just curl up and discover more about these amazing creatures. Sidebar topics, fun activities, and quick quizzes make learning about dinosaurs even more fun! Divided into sections for quick access to the easy-to-understand definitions and amazing full-color illustrations, Dinosaur Dictionary for Kids is a must-have for any kid's home library.
The Triassic Dinosaur Coelophysis (Bulletin Series, No. 57)
By Edwin Harris Colbert

Museum of Northern Arizona
Paperback

The Triassic Dinosaur Coelophysis (Bulletin Series, No. 57)
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Dinosaurs (Discovery Kids)
By Parragon Books

Parragon Books
Hardcover (80 pages)

Dinosaurs (Discovery Kids)
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  • Dinosaurs Discovery Kids
Product Description:
Discover the prehistoric world of dinosaurs. Using stunning images and illustrations, Dinosaurs takes you on a fascinating visual journey of these amazing creatures who once ruled the Earth, revealing their incredible secrets along the way. Satisfy the curiosity of the most inquisitive minds and uncover dinosaurs and their dramatic story with this concise reference book for all the family. Features key information on the habitats, behavior, and feeding habits of dinosaurs. Discover how dinosaurs adapted to perfectly suit their surroundings. Learn all about plant-eating and meat-eating dinosaurs and how they lived together. Discover how fossils are used to build pictures of dinosaurs and recreate the past.
Smithsonian Dig It: Dinosaurs & Other Prehistoric Creatures
By Corinna Bechko

Silver Dolphin Books
Released: 2019-08-27
Paperback (64 pages)

Smithsonian Dig It: Dinosaurs & Other Prehistoric Creatures
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Dig into dinosaurs with the Smithsonian!
 

From the Triassic to the Cretaceous period, get ready to go on journey of excavation in Smithsonian Dig It: Dinosaurs & Other Prehistoric Creatures. With fascinating information about dinosaurs, fossil discoveries, and technology, dinosaur enthusiasts will learn about modern dinosaur discoveries and what may lie in the future of paleontology. After reading the 64-page book, kids can become paleontologists in training by excavating the included sand brick in search of a Triceratops skeleton. After unearthing all of the bones, kids can assemble the pieces to construct their very own Triceratops model! 
 


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