Lepidosaurs

Lepidosaurs are by far the most diverse of modern reptiles, consisting of lizards, snakes, and spheno-dontids, but their fossil record is poorly documented in the Triassic. There are approximately 6,000 different species of lizards and snakes living today, chiefly in tropical regions. Unlike other reptilian groups, the snakes are still a rapidly evolving assemblage their earliest records are known from the Cretaceous Period. The earliest lizard, Paliguana, is known from the Permo-Triassic...

Birth And Breakup Of Pangaea

When the Triassic Period began, all of the major continents of the world were joined into a single colossal opportunity to migrate back and forth from continent to continent. Pangaea was surrounded by Pan-thalassa, the ancestral Pacific Ocean, and was composed of two landmasses Laurasia in the north, and Gondwana in the south. A narrow bay of the Tethys Sea, comparable to the present Mediterranean, lay between Indo-Africa and Eurasia. Today, the former position of the Tethys is marked roughly...

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Brian Franczak

HE NEWS IS THAT DINOSAURS AREN'T JUST FOR KIDS. WE ADULTS HAVE RECLAIMED THEM. The kids can have their mutated turtles and their Muppets. Dinosaurs fill a need in the human psyche for the exotic, the bizarre, the exciting. Anyone who doubts the dragons of the mind has never visited the great gothic cathedrals of France to see the tortured figures frozen in stone around their buttresses and spires. Adults too fond of the Brothers Grimm may be subject to scrutiny, but dinosaurs have a cachet of...

Thecodonts

Thecodonts have long been recognized as the stock from which all other archosaurs such as dinosaurs and crocodilians were derived. They arose in the Late Permian and diversified throughout the Triassic Period. They can be distinguished from the primitive archo-sauromorphs by the presence of an opening in the skull in front of the eye, the antorbital fenestra. Thecodonts are a diverse assemblage and their interrelationships are not fully known and agreed upon by experts, but, as a whole, they...