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Changing Landscapes
At the beginning of the Dinosaur era, all of the continents were stuck together in a huge super-continent called Pangea ("all-Earth"). Pangea slowly broke up into several pieces, each piece carrying a group of dinosaurs with it. These groups of dinosaurs were originally the same, but as time passed, they evolved in different ways because of different environmental conditions. So we had T-Rex's in North America and the Giganotosauruses in South America--similar in looks, size, and life style, but not the same species. The groups remained separated for tens of millions of years.
Images courtesy Dr. Ron Blakey at Northern Arizona University.

Then, over a period of a few million years at the end of the Cretaceous, the climate grew colder and the global sea level fell. The shallow seas and coastal plains slowly dried up, and dry "land bridges" between the continents appeared. Sea-going mosasaurs and ichthyosaurs would have disappeared as the shallow seas dried. On land, dinosaur habitats broke into ever-shrinking patches, forcing dinosaurs to move about looking for places to live. Some dinosaurs may have crossed the land bridges between the continents to mix with cousins they had been separated from for millions of years. The mixing would have brought increased competition between similar species for food. Species efficient at getting food would have survived; the others would have died out.

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Dinosaurs and Disease
Disease and More
Did Dinosaurs Ever Get Sick?
Looking at Life Today
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Going Going Gone

 

 
             
     
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Dinosaurs and Disease | Disease and More | Did Dinosaurs Ever Get Sick? | Looking at Life Today | Changing Landscapes | Going Going Gone

Giant Impact | Super Nova | Disease | Volcanoes | Orbital Changes | Meet the Dinosaurs | Into the Future

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Last updated on
April 28, 2005

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