Introduction to Mesozoic Flora

Introduction to Mesozoic Flora
Introduction to Mesozoic Flora
The Mesozoic era, spanning 252 to 66 million years ago, was a time of diverse plant evolution. This period saw the rise of cycads, ginkgoes, and the first flowering plants, which coexisted with dinosaurs.
Triassic Plant Beginnings
Triassic Plant Beginnings
The Triassic period marked the start of the Mesozoic. Plants like Dicroidium, a seed fern, dominated landscapes. Conifers began to emerge, setting the stage for later periods.
Jurassic Period Expansion
Jurassic Period Expansion
During the Jurassic, conifer forests flourished and ginkgoes spread widely. Ferns and cycads were also prevalent, creating a lush, green world that provided food and shelter for numerous dinosaur species.
Cretaceous Floral Revolution
Cretaceous Floral Revolution
The Cretaceous brought the first flowering plants, angiosperms, which revolutionized ecosystems. They diversified rapidly, providing new food sources and habitats, and initiating complex co-evolutionary relationships with dinosaurs.
Gymnosperms vs. Angiosperms
Gymnosperms vs. Angiosperms
Before the Cretaceous, gymnosperms like conifers dominated. But as angiosperms arose, they began to outcompete gymnosperms in many environments due to their efficient reproduction and diverse forms.
Co-evolution with Dinosaurs
Co-evolution with Dinosaurs
Plants and dinosaurs co-evolved intricately. Some dinosaurs adapted to feed on specific plants, while plants developed defenses like thorns. This relationship profoundly shaped the Mesozoic ecosystem's structure and function.
Mass Extinction Impact
Mass Extinction Impact
The Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event 66 million years ago decimated many plant species. However, angiosperms rebounded and diversified, leading to the rich variety of flowering plants we see today.
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What era saw first flowering plants?
Cenozoic era
Mesozoic era
Paleozoic era