Mesozic Era Creatures

Evolution Unit Study

Lesson 6: We watched videos about pterosaurs, dinosaurs and Mesozic Era sea creatures of the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods and added Mesozic Era creatures to our timeline.

The Mesozic Era was the time of the dinosaurs. It can be broken into three time periods; Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous. The first flowering plants, marine reptiles, flying dinosaurs and first small dinosaurs evolved during the Triassic. During the Jurassic Pterosaurs were abundant. The Cretaceous gave rise to the first sharks, birds evolved and dinosaurs such as triceratops, and t-rex roamed the land. Mammals also made their first apearence during the Mesozic.

Miracle Planet Part 4, Extinction and Rebirth describes how volcano eruptions lead to a change in composition of the Earth's atmosphere. Among other elements, oxygen levels first rose and then fell dramatically to around 10%. The video explains how one change led to another such as the unique formation of mammal rib cages. In early species the rib cage completely surrounded the chest, but in later species, the ribs only surrounded the upper chest much like our ribs do today.

This list of videos provides a good overview of the creatures which lived during the Mesozic Era.

Largest flying Creature Ever - Pterosaurs Documentary
Scientists try to replicate pterosaur flight in this National Geographic video. Full of computer animation, this video describes different types of pterosaurs, typical pterosaur characteristics such as huge a breast bone, and landing tactics.

Dinosaurs Part 1 Extreme Survivors (Full Documentary)
Sauroposeidon were a species of long necked dinosaur which laid numerous small eggs. It's believed that the parents abandoned their babies (500 per season) and let them fend for themselves. T-Rex dinosaurs, on the other hand, are believed to have been devoted parents. This video explores different species of dinosaurs and their behavior characteristics.

Extreme Dinosaurs
Long neck dinosaurs, abounded during the Jurassic. During the Cretaceous the t-rex preyed upon creatures. It is believed that these two species didn't live at the same time. This video explores the possibility of a dinosaur even bigger than t-rex discovered in South America - giganatosaurus, living at the same time as the giant Argentinosaurus, the largest plant eater. While exploring the theory, scientists examine evidence that suggests these species of large dinosaurs may have lived in family groups.

Sea Monsters - A Prehistoric Adventure
While dinosaurs roamed the land, the seas teamed with life. This National Geographic video gives a historical fiction account of a dolichorhynchops (a pre-historic dolfin which lived during the late Cretaceous.) Following the dolichorhynchops and her brother as they journey through life, the video introduces several other sea creatures of the late Cretaceous.


After learning about different Mesozic Era creatures the kids added images to the timeline.

 Searching through books, they located creatures and sketched them for the timeline.

 They also photocopied creatures and cut them out for the timeline.

(cutting out a dinosaur for the timeline)


To see more of our evolution lessons, please visit our Science Page.

Check out these great blogs full of educational activity ideas. 

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