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Ecosystems dinosaurs

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Ecosystems dinosaurs

  1. 1. DINOSAURS THE AGE OF DINOSAURS ECOSYSTEMS
  2. 2. TIMELINE
  3. 3. DINOSAUR HABITATS Not all the dinosaurs lived at the same time. Nor did they all live in the same part of the world. During the 180 million years that dinosaurs walked the Earth, the break-up of the supercontinent Pangaea and the resulting major changes of climate produced many different habitats. Continental drift (movement) changed the world’s climate because it altered the flow of ocean currents and controlled how much of the world was covered in ice. Different dinosaurs evolved to live in different environments. Those that had existed on the dry Triassic supercontinent were quite different from those that lived on the scattered landmasses of the Cretaceous. WHAT IS AN ECOSYSTEM? An ecosystem includes all of the living things (plants, animals and organisms) in a given area, interacting with each other, and also with their non- living environments (weather, earth, sun, soil, climate, atmosphere). Ecosystems are the foundations of the Biosphere and they determine the health of the entire earth system.
  4. 4. DINOSAUR HABITATS WHAT IS AN ECOSYSTEM? WHAT DO LIVING-THINGS NEED TO LIVE?
  5. 5. DINOSAUR HABITATS WHAT IS AN ECOSYSTEM? WHAT ARE THE THREADS OF ECOSYSTEMS? This very complex, wonderful interaction of living things and their environment, has been the foundations of energy flow and recycle of carbon and nitrogen. Anytime a ‘stranger’ (living thing(s) or external factor such as rise in temperature) is introduced to an ecosystem, it can be disastrous to that ecosystem. This is because the new organism (or factor) can distort the natural balance of the interaction and potentially harm or destroy the ecosystem. Unfortunately, ecosystems have been disrupted, and even destroyed by natural disasters such as fires, floods, storms and volcanic eruptions. Human activities have also contributed to the disturbance of many ecosystems.
  6. 6. MESOZOICTRIASSIC 250-200MILLIONYEARSAGO During the Triassic, all the landmasses of the world were joined together, forming the single supercontinent, Pangaea. Because the continent was so huge, most inland areas were a long way from the ocean and there were extensive deserts. Only around the edges of the continent was there enough moisture for any vegetation. This was the time of the first dinosaurs and they lived everywhere.
  7. 7. MESOZOICTRIASSIC 250-200MILLIONYEARSAGO RIVERSIDES Plant and animal life was most common along the banks of rivers near the sea. The river banks were covered with ferns and the shallow water supported reed beds of horsetails. Early carnivorous dinosaurs such as Herrerasaurus hunted in these thickets. SCRUBLAND The semi-desert supported a scrubby (low-growing vegetation) growth of plants that could tolerate a lack of water. The landscape must have looked rather like areas of southern Africa do today. The drought- resistant plants were browsed by early herbivorous dinosaurs, such as the prosauropod Plateosaurus.
  8. 8. MESOZOICJURASSIC 200-145MILLIONYEARSAGO By the Jurassic, Pangaea had begun to break up. Rift valleys produced long arms of ocean that reached into the depths of the continent, very like today’s Red Sea in Egypt. Shallow seas spread across the lowlands and reached into the former deserts, giving rise to damper (slightly wet) climates in most areas. There was much more vegetation than during the Triassic, although the plants were the same types.
  9. 9. MESOZOICJURASSIC 200-145MILLIONYEARSAGO RIPARIAN (RIVERLANDS) FOREST As in the Triassic, the areas most covered by vegetation were by the riversides. Seasonal rainfall produced forests of tree ferns and ginkgoes, with an undergrowth of ferns and horsetails. These provided good feeding for herbivorous dinosaurs such as Stegosaurus. DENSE CONIFEROUS FOREST The forests were made up of primitive conifers such as monkey puzzles, cypresses, and podocarps (rare today), as well as relatives of the cycads. The tough needles on these evolved to guard against the intensive high browsing of sauropods such as Mamenchisaurus.
  10. 10. MESOZOICCRETACEOUS 145-65MILLIONYEARSAGO By the Cretaceous, the continents had broken apart, many of them beginning to look like the continents of today. The presence of so many different land areas meant that the climates were much more varied. The animal life was different on each continent as each group of animals evolved separately. So, for example, the dinosaurs of North America were different from those of South America.
  11. 11. MESOZOICCRETACEOUS 145-65MILLIONYEARSAGO SWAMPLAND (WETLANDS) Swamps and river deltas are ideal places for the preservation of fossils. Steamy swamps existed along the edges of the Cretaceous continents. Wet-loving trees such as swamp cypresses dominated these areas. They provided the perfect habitat for fish-eating dinosaurs such as Spinosaurus. MIXED FORESTS By the Cretaceous, flowering plants had begun to evolve. Dinosaurs with efficient chewing mechanisms, such as Corythosaurus, could both browse from trees and graze close to the ground. This led to the evolution of plants with seeds that could survive this treatment.
  12. 12. MESOZOICCRETACEOUS 145-65MILLIONYEARSAGO MOUNTAINS Little is known about the vegetation of mountain habitats because most fossils come from lowland regions. But bones of armoured dinosaurs, such as Edmontonia, that look as though they have been washed down from mountain areas, have been found. DESERT PLAINS The deserts supported some specialized animals. Although there was little to eat, a large number of different species of dinosaur lived in Cretaceous desert sandstones. The open vistas would have been ideal for long-legged running dinosaurs such as Gallimimus.
  13. 13. CLIMATE HOT HOT WARM
  14. 14. MESOZOIC TRIASSIC JURASSIC CRETACEOUS • IT WAS HOT. • IT HARDLY RAINED. • THERE WERE EXTENSIVE DESERTS. • THERE WERE FEW PLANTS (BUSHES). • SMALL DINOSAURS. • IT WAS WARM. • THERE WERE MORE RIVERS AND SEAS (CONTINENTS BREAK-UP). • THERE WERE MORE FORESTS AND ALSO DESERTS.. • THERE WERE MORE PLANTS (BUSHES AND TREES). • GIANT HERBIVOROUS DINOSAURS (LONG- NECKED). • IT WAS HOT AND RAINY. • THERE WERE EVEN MORE RIVERS AND SEAS (CONTINENTS BREAK-UP). • THERE WERE MORE MIXED FORESTS, DESERTS, WETLANDS,… • THERE WERE EVEN MORE PLANTS (FLOWERS SHOWED UP). • BIG CARNIVOROUS DINOSAURS.
  15. 15. DINOSAUR EXTINCTION WHEN DID DINOSAURS BECOME EXTINCT? WHY DID DINOSAURS DIE OUT? Dinosaurs became extinct about 65 million years ago at the end of the Cretaceous period. Then, Cenozoic era begins. About 70% of all animal life on earth died out. Scientists call it a mass extinction – it wasn’t the first mass extinction in earth’s history and it probably won’t be the last! There are many different theories about why this happened. We will probably never know exactly what happened, which means that scientists will continue to disagree and come up with different dinosaur extinction theories.
  16. 16. DINOSAUR EXTINCTION WHY DID DINOSAURS DIE OUT? ASTEROID IMPACT A massive asteroid hit the earth at Chicxulub on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico about 65 million years. The meteor crater is 180 km from rim to rim and scientists have worked out that the asteroid must have been 10 km across. It is thought that the impact would have caused massive damage, including a giant dust cloud which lead to massive changes in the climate. This would have destroyed lots of the cretaceous plants, so herbivorous dinosaurs starved and the meat eating ones were left with nothing to eat either. ICE AGE THEORY Now and again, the earth cools into periods we call ice ages. As dinosaurs were thought to be cold blooded, it would have been hard for them to cope with such cold conditions. For example, if large parts of the planet were covered in ice, then there would have been little or no plants for herbivorous dinos to eat. However, there is no real evidence of an ice age
  17. 17. DINOSAUR EXTINCTION WHY DID DINOSAURS DIE OUT? VOLCANO THEORY There was massive volcanic activity between 63 and 67 million years ago, particularly on the Deccan Plateau in western India. This, again, would have caused a massive change in climate, which dinosaurs would have found hard to adapt to. DISEASE It is possible that a disease spread through the dinosaur population causing their extinction.
  18. 18. DINOSAUR EXTINCTION WHY DID DINOSAURS DIE OUT? GRADUAL EXTINCTION The number of dinos declined throughout the cretaceous period. Maybe a number of factors contributed to their eventual extinction and they just died out. Dinosaur extinction is a big mystery, as although dinosaurs died out at this time, many species survived, including similar animal types like crocodiles. COMPETITION FROM OTHER ANIMALS Fossils of small mammals have been found from 65 million years ago. It is possible that these small cretaceous animals started to compete with dinosaurs, for example stealing and eating dinosaur eggs. However, no-one is sure whether mammals caused dinosaur extinction, or they thrived because dinosaurs were no longer around. They would be nocturnal rat-like mammals.

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