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What was it like in the Cretaceous world?

A scene in China during the Early CretaceousA scene in China during the Early CretaceousThe Cretaceous Period ran from 145 to 66 million years ago. The world’s land masses divided up into lots of islands. Cut off from each other by the sea, dinosaurs in different lands began to evolve into different species. The ornithischian (“bird-hipped”) dinosaurs become much more abundant, while most of the Jurassic sauropods died out. One group of sauropods, the titanosaurs, lived on during the Cretaceous Period. They were the largest animals that ever walked the Earth.

Ampelosaurus, a titanosaurAmpelosaurus, a titanosaur

Iguanodon using its thumb spike against as predatorIguanodon using its thumb spike against as predator


Iguanodon (Ig-WAH-noh-don) was an ornithopod, a type of ornithischian. It lived in Europe about 125 million years ago. It was not quick enough to run away from attackers. Instead, Iguanodon relied on its sharp thumb-spikes for defence. If any dinosaur dared to attack it, the Iguanodon would rear up on its back legs and jab its spike into the predator’s body.

Iguanodon, 10 m (33 ft) longIguanodon, 10 m (33 ft) long

The name Cretaceous takes its name from the Latin word for chalk, creta. Large areas of chalk formed during the Cretaceous Period are found in Western Europe.

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