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


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Triassic Life on Land: The Great Transition (The Critical Moments and Perspectives in Earth History and Paleobiology)
By Hans-Dieter Sues

Columbia University Press
Released: 2010-04-28
Kindle Edition (224 pages)

Triassic Life on Land: The Great Transition (The Critical Moments and Perspectives in Earth History and Paleobiology)
 
Product Description:

The Triassic period is generally viewed as the beginning of the Age of Dinosaurs. For paleontologists, however, it also marks the rise of the world's first modern land ecosystems.

Over the past three decades, extensive, worldwide fieldwork has led to the discovery of many new species of Triassic animals and plants, suggesting that faunal and floral changes already began in the Middle Triassic and were more protracted than previously thought. The Late Triassic is a pivotal time in the evolution of life on land, with many of the major groups of present-day vertebrates and insects first appearing in the fossil record. This book provides the first detailed overview of life on land during the Triassic period for advanced students and researchers. Noted vertebrate paleontologists Hans-Dieter Sues and Nicholas C. Fraser also review the biotic changes of this period and their possible causes.

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
Released: 2019-04-24
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.

Dinosaurs of the Triassic Period: Explore Series Dinosaurs Edition
By James Willoughby

Independently published
Paperback (59 pages)

Dinosaurs of the Triassic Period: Explore Series Dinosaurs Edition
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Product Description:
The Triassic Period for Dinosaurs was the earliest dawn of the Dinosaurs. This Dinosaur Kindle edition covers Triassic Dinosaurs from every continent.Dinosaurs have held a fascination for we human beings for a very long time. Probably since way back when they roamed the Earth. Although, back then, human beings main interest in them was mostly how to stay out of sight so we didn't get stomped on or eaten!This book includes over 30 colorful, descriptive images of Triassic-era Dinosaurs. Each picture gives the name of the Dino as well as its meaning, if known, the way to pronounce their name, and a little bit about them. Fun Reading, good details and valuable history.This is a perfect book for children (of all ages!) to see what many of these prehistoric creatures looked like in the eyes of the paleontologists or artists who have studied them. An ideal learning tool for young children, teens or adults!From the popular Explore Series Dinosaurs Edition. Pick up your copy today!
Dawn of the Dinosaurs: Life in the Triassic (Life of the Past)
By Nicholas Fraser

Indiana University Press
Released: 2006-10-26
Hardcover (328 pages)

Dawn of the Dinosaurs: Life in the Triassic (Life of the Past)
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Product Description:

Before the Age of Dinosaurs there was an age in Earth’s history known as the Triassic. It was a world of truly fantastic creatures, a genetic stew of the ancient and the modern. During this time the Earth took its first steps toward the creation of modern terrestrial ecosystems. This incredibly exciting period is brought vividly to life in the words of paleontologist Nicholas Fraser and the consummate artistry of Douglas Henderson. Together they have created a book in which the riches of Triassic life are presented with clarity, scientific accuracy, and imaginative recreation. Every lover of the life of the past will treasure Dawn of the Dinosaurs.

When the Whales Walked: And Other Incredible Evolutionary Journeys
By Dougal Dixon

words & pictures
Released: 2018-10-16
Hardcover (64 pages)

When the Whales Walked: And Other Incredible Evolutionary Journeys
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A 2019 Outstanding Science Trade Book for Students: K–12 (National Science Teachers Association and the Children's Book Council).

From the moment life crawled out of the oceans and onto land, to when our primate ancestors climbed down from the trees, the history of Planet Earth is filled with incredible stories. This beautifully illustrated guide explores some of the most exciting and incredible events in evolution, through 13 case studies.


Step back in time and discover a world where whales once walked, crocodiles were warm-blooded, and snakes had legs! Meet terrifying giant birds, and tiny elephants living on islands in this fascinating creature guide like no other. Learn how whales once walked on four legs before taking to the oceans; how dinosaurs evolved into birds; and how the first cats were small and lived in trees.

Featuring a stunning mix of annotated illustrations, illustrated scenes, and family trees, evolution is explained here in a captivating and novel style that  will make children look at animals in a whole new way.
Permo-Triassic Salt Provinces of Europe, North Africa and the Atlantic Margins: Tectonics and Hydrocarbon Potential
Elsevier
Paperback (632 pages)

Permo-Triassic Salt Provinces of Europe, North Africa and the Atlantic Margins: Tectonics and Hydrocarbon Potential
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Permo-Triassic Salt Provinces of Europe, North Africa and the Atlantic Margins: Tectonics and Hydrocarbon Potential deals with the evolution and tectonic significance of the Triassic evaporite rocks in the Alpine orogenic system and the Neogene basins in the Iberian Peninsula, North Africa, and the western Mediterranean. As the nature of the Triassic evaporite sequences, the varied diapiric structures they feed, and the occurrence of hydrocarbons suggest that the Triassic evaporites represent an efficient system to trap hydrocarbons, this book explores the topic with a wide swath, also devoting content to a relatively unexplored topic, the mobilization and deformation of the Triassic salt in the western and northern Tethys (from Iberia and North Africa, Pyrenees and Alps, Adriatic and Ionian) during the subsequent Alpine orogenic processes. The book includes chapters updating varied topics, like the Permian and Triassic chronostratigraphic scales, palaeogeographic reconstructions of the western Tethys since the Late Permian, the petroleum systems associated with Permo-Triassic salt, allochthonous salt tectonics, and a latest revision of salt tectonic processes in the Permian Zechstein Basin, the Atlantic Margins (from Barents Sea, Scotia, Portugal, Morocco, and Mauritania), the Alpine folded belts in Europe, and the various Triassic salt provinces in North Africa.

The book is the go-to guide for salt tectonic researchers and those working in the hydrocarbon exploration industry.

  • Presents the first reference book to cover salt tectonics of Permo-Triassic period rocks
  • Features case studies of passive margins like the Barents and the North Sea, Greenland, Nova Scotia, offshore Mauritania, Morocco and Iberia, and folded belts like the Betics-Rif, Tell, Pyrenees, Atlas Mountains, Alps, Balkans, Apennines, the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, and the Zechstein Basin in Norway, the UK, the Netherlands, Germany and Poland
  • Integrates field observations, seismic examples, well-log data and models developed in universities with highly technical and advanced subsurface studies developed by the petroleum industry
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.

Dawn of the Dinosaur Age: The Late Triassic & Early Jurassic Epochs: The Late Triassic and Early Jurassic Periods (The Prehistoric Earth)
By Thom Holmes

Chelsea House Pub
Released: 2008-09-01
Kindle Edition (159 pages)

Dawn of the Dinosaur Age: The Late Triassic & Early Jurassic Epochs: The Late Triassic and Early Jurassic Periods (The Prehistoric Earth)
 
Product Description:
Each title in this comprehensive reference series highlights fundamental principles of scientific inquiry and provides insight into dinosaurs and other fascinating prehistoric creatures, including mammals, birds, flying reptiles, ocean life, and human ancestors.
Timelines of Everything
By DK

DK Children
Released: 2018-10-30
Hardcover (320 pages)

Timelines of Everything
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Explore an illustrated history of the world through timelines for kids. From dinosaurs and Vikings to the history of robots and espionage, discover incredible world history in this lavish collection of timelines.

Jam-packed with surprising facts and amazing details, such as the most bloodthirsty pirate of all time and the first crime to be solved by studying fingerprints, Timelines of Everything will take you on a whirlwind journey through an illustrated history of time, from the Big Bang to the modern world.

More than 120 timelines give you all the general knowledge you need--and even some surprising trivia you don't! Must-know topics and alternative history are showcased with beautiful, detailed illustrations and straightforward, easy-to-read text. Whether you want to know key breakthroughs that set the Industrial Revolution in motion or defining moments in the history of fashion, you'll find it all here. With timelines on a diverse range of subjects, Timelines of Everything is the ultimate guide to history for kids.
Dawn of the Dinosaurs: The Late Triassic in the American Southwest
By Christa Sadler & Phd Sidney Ash

Petrified Forest Museum Association
Paperback (124 pages)

Dawn of the Dinosaurs: The Late Triassic in the American Southwest
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The Age of Dinosaurs This time in Earth's history is famous for the great reptiles that have captured the hearts and imaginations of people worldwide. But dinosaurs didn't appear until late in the period known as the Triassic, and at that point in history, many other animals were bigger, fiercer and odder. The day of the dinosaurs had a dawn and the Late Triassic was it. An update of the 1988 classic with all new text, new science, and new, expanded illustrations, Dawn of the Dinosaurs explores this extraordinary period in the history of our planet-a time when the first dinosaurs walked and breathed and the modern flora and fauna of our planet appeared. This tour of the bones, stones and landscapes that scientists study creates a vibrant picture of the lost world of the Chinle Formation of the American Southwest-one of the best records of this time period anywhere on Earth.


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