It was during the Triassic period that archosaurs ("ruling reptiles"),
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
conifers, ferns, ginkgos and horsetails.
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.
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