Q:

What happened at the end of the Mesozoic Era, but not at the end of the Paleozoic Era?

A:

While both the Mesozoic and Paleozoic Eras ended with mass extinctions, the Mesozoic ended at approximately the same time a massive meteor is believed to have hit the Earth. This probably caused drastic climate change, killing off most of the dinosaurs and many other species.

The Paleozoic Era saw the development of higher and complex life forms: plants, fish, reptiles, amphibians and insects. These creatures were mostly adapted to shallow water and swampy land. When Pangaea broke apart and these ecosystems began shrinking, it may have caused a massive die-off. The Mesozoic – the era when dinosaurs, mammals and seeded plants developed – had relatively stable ecosystems that changed slowly. A sudden drastic event, likely an asteroid collision or a massive volcanic explosion, caused rapid climate change to which most animals could not adapt.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    What happened during the Paleozoic Era?

    A:

    The Paleozoic Era saw changes to Earth's landscapes, life forms and atmosphere over the course of several million years. On land, at sea, below the surface and in the skies, change occurred throughout the six distinct periods comprising the Paleozoic Era. The early Paleozoic periods introduced many plant species, while later periods brought invertebrates, dinosaurs and birds.

      Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What was the Paleozoic Era climate?

    A:

    The climate of the Paleozoic Era varied as the period began with large glaciers covering the surface of the Earth, which gave way to warmer temperatures, glacial melt and volcanic activity. The Paleozoic Era existed 545 to 248 million years ago. Increasing frequency and power of volcanic eruptions drew the once-separate continents of Earth closer together and warmed land and sea temperatures, leading to an abundance of life forms.

      Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    When did the Mesozoic era begin?

    A:

    The Mesozoic era began between 251 and 199.6 million years ago with the Triassic time period. Two other time periods belonging to this era are the Jurassic period, which began 199.6 to 145.5 million years ago, and the Cretaceous period, which started between 145.5 to 65.5 million years ago.

         Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are most periods of the Paleozoic era named after?

    A:

    The periods of the Paleozoic Era were named for the locations, mostly in Great Britain, where rocks associated with them were found, according to the University of Oklahoma. The Cambrian Period, for example, is derived from the ancient Latin name for Wales, which has extensive Cambrian deposits.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore