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LET'S EXPLORE Prehistoric life

What was it like in the Jurassic world?

Dinosaurs of the Jurassic PeriodDinosaurs of the Jurassic PeriodThe Jurassic Period ran from 201 to 145 million years ago. The climate was much wetter than the dry Permian and Triassic periods that came before. Dense vegetation grew rapidly in the swampy lowlands. It provided a rich source of food for all plant-eating dinosaurs. New ones evolved to eat this abundant food. They included the giant, long-necked sauropods and the stegosaurs, dinosaurs with plates running down their backs. Larger, more powerful meat-eaters, called theropods, evolved at the same time.


Brachiosaurus (left) and DiplodocusBrachiosaurus (left) and DiplodocusSauropods like Diplodocus and Brachiosaurus were some of the longest and largest land animals that have ever lived. These enormous dinosaurs, measuring more than 20 metres (65 feet) long, walked on four, pillar-like legs. They had extremely long necks with equally long, whip-like tails to balance them. Their peg-like teeth were perfectly shaped for tearing off leaves from trees.

A small feathered dinosaur, called Anchiornis, dating from the Late Jurassic, was discovered in China in 2009. Its feathers were so well preserved, scientists could work out what colour the dinosaur was. Its body feathers were black and grey with white markings on its wings. On its head was a crest of red feathers.

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