Cretaceous interval: Animals, crops and extinction occasion

Letitia Denham

The Cretaceous interval was the final and longest phase of the Mesozoic period. It lasted roughly 79 million years, from the minor extinction occasion that closed the Jurassic interval about 145 million years in the past to the Cretaceous-Paleogene (Okay-Pg) extinction occasion 66 million years in the past. The identify comes from “creta,” the Latin phrase for chalk, due to widespread chalk deposits courting from the interval, in response to the Nationwide Park Service (opens in new tab).

Within the early Cretaceous, the continents had been in very totally different positions than they’re in the present day, in response to the Australian Museum (opens in new tab). Sections of the supercontinent Pangaea had been drifting aside. The Tethys Ocean nonetheless separated the northern continent Laurasia from the southern continent Gondwana. The North and South Atlantic had been nonetheless closed, though the Central Atlantic had begun to open up within the Late Jurassic interval. By the center of the Cretaceous interval, ocean ranges had been a lot larger (opens in new tab); many of the landmasses we’re acquainted with had been underwater (opens in new tab). By the tip of the interval, the continents had been a lot nearer to their fashionable configuration. Africa and South America had assumed their distinctive shapes. However India had not but collided with Asia, and Australia was nonetheless a part of Antarctica.

Components of supercontinent Pangaea ultimately drifted aside to grow to be the continents we all know in the present day. (Picture credit score: USGS)

Cretaceous interval crops

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