Jurassic (Mesozoic 2)

Mesozoic Era 2: Jurassic Period – Dinosaurs Dominate

Key Events

  • The Jurassic begins with extinction events linked to volcanic activity in what is now the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Other groups are wiped out, allowing the dinosaurs to dominate.
  • The first birds evolve from a branch of carnivorous dinosaurs that includesVelociraptors and Tyrannosaurus rex.
  • Pangea breaks apart, with a narrow Atlantic Ocean separating North America from Africa and South America.
Illustration of life during the Jurassic Period.
Illustration of life during the Jurassic Period. Copyright: Vix Southgate

Facts, Debates & Trivia

  • The Jurassic Period is named after the Jura Mountains on the Swiss-French border.


  • The climate is mainly warm. 
  • Towards the end of the Jurassic, much of the world is lush and tropical.
The Earth 170 million years ago. The red dot marks the location of what will eventually become Cornwall. Credit: C.R. Scotese/I. Webster


201.3 – 145.0 million years ago 

(56.3 million years)

1 metre = 10 million years

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