Saturday, November 22, 2008

Fossil Fact #5!!!!!

Here we go, readers. Finally, the 5th fact. The one you've all been waiting for. The poll is closed and no more interruptions. I can finally post the fifth fact. The readers and voters have spoken and the winner? The Jurassic Period. I have to say, good choice, readers. The Jurassic is probably the most famous period. It's the one with most inaccurate facts to it. I'll clear some of that up with this fact. Let's go.....

Jurassic period (Mesozoic, part 2)-When Dinosaurs Dominated the Earth

First off, the there a lot of inaccurate information about this time period. To clear things up, Geologists divide the time the Earth has been around into eons, then eras, then periods. This is based on the relative age of the rock layers. The Dinosaurs dominated for three time periods in the Mesozoic era of the Phanerozoic eon. We've covered one: the Triassic. Another thing, T-rex didn't appear until the Late Cretaceous period. The "king of the jungle" during the Jurassic was Allosaurus.

Allow me to set the stage: Most of the Archosaurs that lived into the Late Triassic were extinct by the Jurassic period. Pangaea was still together and still did what it did best hosting a battle for the survival of the fittest.

Earth during the Jurassic period.

Since Allosaurus didn't appear until the late Jurassic period (145 million years ago), there was a theropod that preceeded him: Dilophosaurus. I don't think I need to introduce you to this 10 foot tall carnivore. You know him, you love him and at the same time fear him from the film Jurassic Park (1993). For the most part, the movie was accurate with Dilophosaurus except for the frill, and the spitting behavior. This theropod (again....paleontologist's way of classifying these guys.) was actually the first "super-predator." It domianted Pangaea for most of the Jurassic. It's teeth were not as thick as T-rex's, good enough for slicing like a steak knife through flesh and muscle. Since it couldn't crush bone, it could take down it's prey through persistant attacks. However, there were no need to take THAT many bites because there were no huge sauropods (long-necks) around mowing the forests. Prosauropods ("before sauropods"), like Plateosaurus, however did that job pretty nicely.

In the Mid Jurassic rose an even bigger theropod, Ceratosaurus. This huge theropod was unique with the fact that it had horn on the top of it's muzzle. Like Dilophosaurus, this carnivore had knife like teeth that were perfect for slicing flesh and tearing muscular tissue. Ceratosaurus lived in what is now North America.

In the Late Jurassic, the infamous theropod of his time, Allosaurus fragilis. I guess I don't need to introduce him. Y'all have probably heard of his pack hunting behavior. No? How about the claws that grabbed into the flesh like grappling hooks so it could pull it's prey towards it and take decent size bites with it's flesh-searing teeth? No? Well, you just did. It's head was also big in relation to it's body. It may have been smaller than Tyrannosaurus rex but some Paleontologists think it was even deadlier. Note: it, and the other two mwntioned were very bird like.


Naveed said...

Awesome post Raptor. The one thing I think you should start doing is possibly linking the dinosaurs you mention in your posts to like a wikipedia link or some dinosaur facts pages. It's a blogging trick I learned that allows people who don't know as much about the various subjects to look up further info on them, and let's face it, the average person doesn't necessarily know as much about dinosaurs as we do. Anyways, I'm not trying to offend you or nothing, just offering some bloggin pointers.

Raptor Lewis said...

Thanks Naveed. Appreciate the help.