Image: Map of world: early Cretaceous

Map of world: early Cretaceous

Early Cretaceous – 125 million years ago

Ronald Blakey
© Ronald Blakey


Fast facts

  • Climate: no polar ice caps, lush and warm but seasonal towards poles, rising sea levels, carbon dioxide levels about ten times higher than today
  • Main dinosaurs: unique groups diversifying world-wide including early ceratopsians, pachycephalosaurs, ornithopods, and theropods like dromaeosaurs, tyrannosaurs and ornithomimosaurs; birds diversify; declining numbers of sauropods, allosaurs and stegosaurs
  • Main plants: Gondwanan forests of podocarps and araucarians; Laurasian forests of redwoods, cedars and pines; small flowering plants; small numbers of cycads and ferns
  • Other animals: giant short-tailed pterosaurs now rule the air; fishes, ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs and pliosaurs still dominate the seas; molluscs like rudist bivalves are the main reef-builders; mammals diversify; insects such as wasps and bees abound

Additional information

BY Ron Blakey only for use in 2008 Dinosaurs exhibition and associated web.

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